Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins promises that BlackBerry 10 will offer mobile users something unlike anything they’ve seen before.
“Nothing from BlackBerry 7 is in BlackBerry 10, nothing,” Heins told eWEEK during an interview Aug. 14. He clarified, however, that the DNA is the same, so the experience will still feel intuitive to the BlackBerry faithful.
BlackBerry 10 is the new mobile platform on which RIM plans to regain some of its former dominance. Ideally, it will enable the company to win back customers lost to iPhones and Android-running smartphones, though at the very least enable it to hold on to those customers that have yet to defect. While during the second quarter of 2010 RIM had an 18.2 percent share of the global smartphone market to Android’s 17.2 percent and Apple’s 14.2, during the most recent quarter, Apple’s share had risen to 18.8 percent and Android’s to 64.1 percent, while RIM’s fell to 5.2 percent.
What can we expect from RIM’s fresh start?
RIM has said it will introduce at least one full-touch smartphone and at least one with a QWERTY keypad. And we know BlackBerry Balance will enable corporate and private information to sit side-by-side on the devices, with IT having full control of the former but no view at all of the latter.
Information Week has described RIM as planning to “sprinkle Android Mojo” into BlackBerry 10 by funneling social networking feeds and other data into a single spot. But Heins described a solution less like a Windows Phone People Hub, colliding all the information relevant to a user, than a way to more efficiently access and interact with the growing fields of information most people navigate each day.
BlackBerry 10 is designed, not for corporate or consumer customers, but for “The BlackBerry People,” as they’ve come to be thought of inside RIM headquarters. These are device users who are busy, passionate and want to be successful in numerous areas of their lives. How this translates to BlackBerry 10, Heins explained, is that RIM designed it for people “who need to stay ahead of the game.”
“You have to make decisions, you have to direct information, you have to give out information, and you have to do this on various channels-corporate email, private email, Twitter, Facebook, whatever. You have tons of channels coming at you, and how do you get all this instruction, how do you deal with it? That paradigm-you get sick and tired of always having to call up a new application. Something’s on LinkedIn, go to LinkedIn. Something’s on Twitter, go to Twitter.You will see that on BB10, it’s so easy. It’s so well-integrated.“
What else? Fans of touch-screen devices can expect a better experience on BlackBerry 10; RIM plans to raise the bar for the industry in this regard, Heins said. And to go with it, users can expect a strong consumer experience.
“You cannot be everybody’s darling, you can’t,” said Heins, explaining the decision to cut divisions that aren’t central to RIM’s core areas of focus and instead partner with experts in their respective fields. During RIM’s March earnings call, this “shift,” as Heins explains it, is what caused confusion, leading to reports that RIM was getting out of the consumer space.
“I’m not going to develop games anymore, I’m not going to develop maps-there’s a company out there that really can do it better than I can,” said Heins. So I need to partner, I need to get them on board, I need to get them a great programming interface, and off we go.”