CEO Heins, Chairperson Stymiest Reiterate Their Belief in RIMs Strategy
He said BlackBerry 10 would offer users a better product not only for the enterprise, but also for consumers. The first BlackBerry 10 phones will offer full touch-screen capabilities similar to other smartphones, though other devices with the traditional QWERTY keyboard will soon follow. In addition, Heins touted BlackBerry Balance, a technology that enables the phones to be used to access both personal and corporate data. Heins also talked about how developers are embracing the platformRIM this month announced the 3 billionth download from the BlackBerry App World storeand the decision to open it up to third-party applications, an important factor when talking about the smartphone space. At the same time, he said, some partners that he had spoken with are actually pleased that the release date had been pushed back to early 2013, saying it will coincide with more Long-Term Evolution (LTE) 4G networks coming online.He reiterated that the reason for the delay was the vast amount of new software code going into the platform. It is taking more time than expected to get everything set, Heins said. What consumers and businesses will get is a platform that will offer vast improvements over whats on the market now, he said.It also will give wireless network providers another alternative to offer beyond iOS and Android, Heins said. He noted that despite the problems from the last quarter, RIM still has $2.2 billion in cash and no debt, and its plan to cut $1 billion in expenses this yearnot only through the layoffs, but also with such moves as reducing the number of manufacturing sites from 10 to three and selling a corporate jetwill give it more financial flexibility. Analysts are less optimistic about RIMs chances, with many noting that when BlackBerry 10 does arrive, it will come at a time when Apple is gearing up or iOS 6, Google is readying Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Nokia is rolling out Windows-based devices. The delay of the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones, however, is the death blow, Michael Finneran, president of dBrn Associates and an analyst, said in a blog post June 29. RIM's product line is simply not competitive. Even at its best, BlackBerry 10 would have challenges, as the initial devices were to be the first RIM smartphones without a keyboard, one of the features that had kept many of the remaining RIM fans loyal. With Apple poised to introduce the iPhone 5 later this year and an ongoing torrent of Android devices pouring onto the market, this is the worst of all failings.