BlackBerry 10 Could Be Decisive To RIM’s Success

By Prarthito Maity email: p.maity@mobilenapps.com | Jan 30, 2013 04:00 AM EST

RIM (Research in Motion) is currently finding it hard to stay alive in a market that is dominated by the likes of Apple and Google, but the company is still finding hope and its latest trump card is the introduction of a brand new BlackBerry phone.

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The company is set to introduce a new line of smartphones called the BlackBerry 10 and an operating system of the same name this Wednesday, and the president and CEO of RIM, Thorsten Heins, has massive hopes on the new release with a belief that it will restore the company's former glory.

However, not everybody is that hopeful about the new release, especially Frank Mersch, one of RIM's earliest investors. "You're in a very, very competitive market and you're not the leader," Mersch, currently the chairman and a vice president at First Street Capital in Toronto, said of RIM. "You have to ask: 'At the end of the day are we really going to win?' I personally think the jury's out on that."

Moreover, RIM will face further problems with IDC analyzing there was just 4.6 percent of the global market for smartphones in 2012. The IDC report further stated that the worldwide mobile phone market grew by 1.9 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was mainly due to strong holiday smartphone sales that raised shipments of these devices to levels nearly equal to those of feature phones.

"The high-growth smartphone market, though dominated by Samsung and Apple, still presents ample opportunities for challengers," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "Vendors with unique market advantages, such as lower-cost devices, can rapidly gain market share, especially in emerging markets. A good example is Huawei, which overtook LG as a Top 5 vendor in the overall mobile phone market and passed HTC to become a Top 5 smartphone vendor."

At first, RIM will release two variations of the BlackBerry 10. While one will feature a touch-screen model that seems similar to many other phones currently available in the market, the other model is a sort of hybrid with a keyboard similar to those found on current BlackBerrys as well as a small touch screen.

"The real revolution, though, may be in the software that manages a person's business and personal information. It is clearly designed with an eye toward retaining and, more important, luring back, corporate users, NYTimes writes. "Corporate and government information technology managers will be able to segregate business-related apps and data on BlackBerry 10 handsets from users' personal material through a system known as BlackBerry Balance."

"It will enable an I.T. manager to, among other things, remotely wipe corporate data from fired employees' phones while leaving the newly jobless workers' personal photos, e-mails, music and apps untouched. The system can also block users from forwarding or copying information from the work side of the phone."

Per the IDC report, as far as top five smartphone unit shipments in 2012 was concerned, RIM fell way below Samsung, Apple and Nokia with 32.5 million. While Samsung claimed a healthy 215.8 million, and way ahead of Apple's 135.9 million, Nokia also chipped in with a small 35.1 million. HTC also managed to ship about 32.6 million units.

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