BlackBerry 10 Smartphones: 10 Features These Devices Need to Thrive

NEWS ANALYSIS: RIM is reportedly launching new BlackBerry 10 devices later this year. However, these RIM smartphones will need several features in order to be successful.

Research In Motion was once the company that all others compared themselves to in the mobile space. RIM was the firm that understood how to appeal to enterprise users, found a way to target consumers through the office and, along the way, dramatically improved the way in which those customers interacted with their smartphones. Without RIM€™s lessons, it might have been extremely difficult for Apple to have delivered the iPhone.

But unfortunately for RIM, Apple did deliver the iPhone. And now, Apple€™s smartphone, as well as Android-based handsets, is dominating the mobile space. RIM, meanwhile, is left to hope that it can turn things around with its upcoming software launch, BlackBerry 10. That operating system, RIM says, will carry the company well into the next several years.

Although it€™s hard to know exactly what BlackBerry 10 will look like or what features it will ship with, RIM does plan to provide prototypes to developers in May. This likely paves the way for a launch later this year. But for that operating system and the devices running it to be successful, several things must first fall into place.

1. A solid design

Want to know the secret to Apple€™s success? Design. The company knows how to build software and hardware that people want to use€”and show off to others. RIM, meanwhile, doesn€™t do anything of the sort. For BlackBerry 10 to be successful, it must work well and be stylish, and run on devices that deliver the same feel.

2. Big displays

RIM has historically made the odd decision to offer up devices that come with very, very small displays. The Torch and Storm2 are the only exceptions to that rule. With BlackBerry 10 devices, RIM must forgo the past and deliver devices with big displays. At this point, a 4.3-inch screen should be the company€™s minimum display offering.

3. Ditch the physical keyboard

As much as RIM executives don€™t want to believe it, the physical keyboard is a major issue for consumers and enterprise users who are considering buying new devices. The physical keyboard is a relic of the past and something that most customers don€™t want any longer. And yet, RIM continues to deliver it. With BlackBerry 10, RIM must wake up and realize that it€™s going about the mobile space all wrong.

4. Responsive software

One of the biggest issues with RIM€™s BlackBerry 7 is that it lacks the kind of responsiveness found in Apple iOS. Like it or not, RIM€™s BlackBerry operating system cannot match Apple€™s platform, and unless BlackBerry 10 achieves that feat, expect RIM to continue to slide in the mobile space. BlackBerry 10 is a make-or-break offering for the mobile firm.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...