The BB10 launch looms ever closer. January 30th will see the beginning of a new chapter in mobile history. But the onset of the BB10 era doesn’t mean that BB7 is to be wrapped up soon. RIM is persisting with the promotion of the Blackberry 7. The RIM YouTube channel is now showing two brand new promo videos pertaining to BB7. Each video has been made targeting a certain feature of the BB7 OS.
Wikitude and Blackberry Tag are primarily featured in these videos. This promotional activity sends out a strong signal that RIM is not likely to sideline BB7 even with the launch of BB10. BB7 devices will play an important role in attracting budget users who may not stretch to afford the new BB10 devices. Until RIM comes out with some low cost BB10 devices, customers will be affecting business hugely. In places like the UK, for instance, the prepaid phone market is very huge for Blackberry. With phone prices as low as £100, BB10 will not be a viable option.
BB7 is thus not only cost effective but also a reliable companion to those who are not very eager to change. BB10 maybe capturing all the media attention of late, but RIM certainly doesn’t want to push BB7 aside. The logistics are likely to be time consuming as it is, putting a BB10 in every carrier’s device that currently supports a Blackberry. There are a reported 250 networks that are currently showing an interest in BB10. They are all more than likely to commit to BB10, but this is certainly going to happen over a certain period of time.
The ads are mainly looking to focus on markets where BB10 might be taking a while to materialize. The BB7 has been the choice of die-hard Blackberry fans in the run-up to the BB10. Most of them are not likely to simply desert their old pal in favor of the new one. Rewarding these loyal supporters is a great move from RIM. The new features these ads are promoting are the Blackberry Tag which is RIM’s latest in Near Field Communication. The second presents Wikitude which is the BB7 version of augmented reality both these features are probably some of the “most powerful social experiences” of the present day. They are sure to reel in the younger folk and keep them hooked onto Blackberry.
Markets which are predominantly 2G, might find it convenient to use the old Blackberry curve 9220’s. These markets may also be cost-driven in which the question of a lower end device version of BB10 needs to be put forward with haste. The talk doing the rounds is there will be six BB10 smart phones released this year. But RIM is mum on whether we will see six unique handsets or the CDMA and GSM variants will be making up the announced number. Whichever way this announcement goes, it is heartening to envision RIM not leaning too heavily on BB10 alone.
Amid fears that BB7’s presence might dilute the possible market share for BB10, die-hard fans are waiting for the moment of truth when BB10 comes out and they get to say, “BB10 was worth the wait”.