NEWS ANALYSIS: RIM may benefit from making BlackBerry 10 the name of its next-generation operating system, the company can't wait much longer to jump-start its business.
Motion decided to change the name of its next-generation mobile operating
system from "BBX" to "BlackBerry 10."
allow RIM to dodge some thorny trademark issues. But when it comes to the
longer-term success of the BlackBerry franchise, much will depend on how RIM
decides to roll out the much-touted "superphones" loaded with BlackBerry 10.
The company remains reluctant to announce an exact date for that release,
although it is widely expected to be sometime within the next few quarters.
has offered precious few details about any "superphone" hardware or software,
BlackBerry-enthusiast Websites like CrackBerry
have leaked purported images of the next-generation devices-including the
"BlackBerry Milan," which imbues a slider form factor with some decidedly
angular design language.
The specs for
those devices, and how RIM decides to position them vis-??Ã-vis rivals on the
market, such as Apple's iPhone and the rising numbers of Google Android and
Windows Phone devices, will ultimately help determine whether RIM can reverse
its eroding market share in the smartphone arena. That dip in users, combined
with RIM's declining revenue, means those devices and accompanying strategy
need to make their debut sooner rather than later.
RIM will also
need to settle its trademark battle with Basis International Ltd., which
markets business software and claims the "BBX" name. On Dec. 6, the United
States District Court for the District of New Mexico issued a temporary
Dec. 6 (case 1:11-cv-00953-WJ-ACT) preventing RIM from
using "BBX" at its Singapore conference this week.
By virtue of
it being a temporary restraining order, and the trademark battle still ongoing,
it's not unconceivable that RIM could have eventually reached some sort of deal
with Basis International for "BBX." However, RIM decided to be proactive and
officially announce that its BBX operating system would henceforth become
is the official name of the next-generation platform that will power future
BlackBerry smartphones," tweeted
RIM's developer-relations team Dec. 6.
however permanent, could end up benefitting RIM by drawing a clear linkage to
the past editions of its BlackBerry OS. As much as the company might want to
make a clean break from its past-indeed, for months it has touted BBX, er,
BlackBerry 10, as a major evolutionary leap, technologically speaking, from
even the recent BlackBerry 7 OS-the company retains a sizable (albeit
declining) base of genuine BlackBerry addicts who might not appreciate too
radical a shift or become confused by an OS name-change.
Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter