While industry experts believe that Blackberry is left behind in the smartphone race and is entering market late with the next year release of BlackBerry 10, the senior manager (marketing and branding communications) at RIM (Research in Motion), Jeff Gadway disagrees. He feels that RIM’s entry is not late because the race has just begun and the cellular industry is young with ample scope for growth in both the US and market all over the world.
However, the opposite of “growth” defines RIM’s current situation. According to data analysis done by comScore, the company is struggling to keep its number three position in mobile market (8.3% subscriber share) in the wake of a loss of more than 3% subscribers in the US in period from May to August. A lot is going against RIM at the present moment as it prepares to launch a new operating system and six handsets in 2013. It must bring to life a fading brand and ensure return of profits for itself.
So what will make BlackBerry 10 stand apart from bigwigs like iPhone and Android interfaced smartphones?
According to Gadway, users are tired of the traditional mobile usage format (going back around 5-6 years) that requires pressing the “home” button repeatedly to jump from app to app without any scope for easy multitasking. BB 10 will provide a “flow” to these functions and enable users to make easy switches between applications. The secret, Gadway believes, lies in economizing the multitasking process by breaking down the silos between these apps. Gadway feels confident that BlackBerry 10 will bring a paradigm shift to smartphone usage as it will save time by providing information on fingertips.
However, tell that to Android and iPhone loyalists -one may ask and Gadway answers that is the very reason why RIM will begin to push its product starting from the messaging front. Not only that, BB 10 has other surprises in its kitty, say for example, the “time-shifting” feature. This unique picture option ensures that everyone in the photo looks their best even if they grimaced when the shot was taken since one can select the best photo from a series. It allows one to fit the best face (from a series of frames over a period of time) for each member in the picture thereby creating a moment that was never there.
However, such feature will be of little use if BlackBerry cannot interface with popular apps. While the presence of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is a given, Instagram is not.
The fact, that 99% of coders for BlackBerry 10 who were seeded prototypes by RIM have begun working on their respective apps, is relieving for RIM. RIM had given out around six thousand prototypes to coders before throwing open its App world to them on October 10.
Now, it remains to be seen whether BB 10’s promises of new features will be able to keep Research in Motion’s boat “flowing”.