BB10 – The Industrys View

We asked for some industry comment on the launch of BB10. A few of you were removed to respond. Here’s what you had to say…

Scott Snyder, co-founder and president of Mobiquity:

What BB10 means for RIM:

BB10 is a ‘bet the company’ play for RIM. If RIM can stop the bleeding in the enterprise space, it has a chance of recovering some of its lost market share, but it is unlikely BB10 will put a real dent in the broader consumer space, which will limit RIMs longer term market share and make it at best a third or fourth player in the smartphone market.

Why the new OS is mission critical:
RIM put all its energy into transitioning its core operating system to a new one based on QNX, which it acquired several years back. QNX grew up in the mission-critical equipment world (medical equipment, machinery, etc.) and as a result, has some real advantages over typical mobile OSs in terms of multi-threading (running many applications simultaneously), speed, security, and reliability. These are all important features for mobile. 
 
What else will make a difference (camera, security, social media):
In addition to its new touch interface, BB10 seamlessly integrates social media with core services like contacts, messaging, and predictive typing (scans for commonly used words in your posts/messages). It has added some really neat features to the camera, such as time-shifting (being able to look back to better frames in a set of photos and also merge photos into one improved image). RIM has apparently done some significant work to make the radio performance better on BB10 than other smartphones, including adaptive antennas (adjusting the antenna pattern based on how the user is holding the phone).

BB10 also has FIPS-142 encryption included. This is an NSA-grade security level, used by government for classified data. Lastly, BB10 includes NFC, which will support mPayments as well as other interaction use cases (smart tags, authentication, secure info exchange, etc.). 
 
The importance of developers:
The key question is, will RIM be able to drive adoption of BB10 ahead of rapidly-eroding market share for legacy RIM products, especially as enterprise contracts are being renewed and they are moving away from BlackBerry devices.
One key driver for this is the ability to build up an ecosystem of compelling applications available for download (something it was not able to do with the Playbook launch). Because RIM architected the BB10 operating system to be open, there are APIs and Java-based toolsets that will make porting Android apps to BB10 fairly easy, which could be a major plus point, given it is unlikely to ever match the 500,000+ apps in Google Play.

Additionally, RIM has incentivized developers by offering $10,000 of guaranteed revenue from their app (assuming they can earn at least $1,000) even if they fall short of $10,000. RIM already has 15,000 submissions and expects to hit 70,000 around the BB10 launch.

Jim Somers, chief marketing & strategy officer, Antenna:
RIM has taken a long time to come out with its new platform and devices, and that time lapse has damaged its reputation and depleted its user-base, but today it came out swinging.

Wooing enterprises was high on Heins’ to-do list today. Making a secure ‘business’ container, via the work perimeter and BlackBerry Balance, a fundamental part of the operating system, is a smart and daring move, and one that is likely to pay dividends with businesses that want to maintain strict control over their data and give their employees a device with a cool factor approaching that of the iPhone.

BlackBerry Remember, collaborative screen sharing, and the ‘flowing’ user interface are also likely to play well with business users, while the solid look of the new handsets reinforces the security and reliability of messages that RIM still believes enterprises want and need to hear.

On the other hand, BlackBerry’s consumer appeal is still in doubt. Nothing unveiled today had anything close to the lure of BBM for consumer users. And without that consumer appeal, BlackBerry’s ability to re-break the workplace may also be in doubt – especially as the number of firms actively issuing devices to their workers is decreasing all the time.

Adam Leach, principal analyst at Ovum:
The Blackberry 10 platform offers a differentiated user experience in today’s crowded and homogenous smartphone market. The Blackberry Z10 and Q10 will stand out from the Android masses, and look distinct from Apple’s iPhone. The user experience of Blackberry 10 introduces some nice new features, and importantly, builds on Blackberry’s UI heritage, and therefore will certainly appeal to existing Blackberry users. However, the challenge for the company will be to attract new users, as well as those that have already moved to alternative smartphones.

Blackberry has rightly focused on ensuring that the Blackberry 10 devices have a large catalogue of content and applications, which is essential for any modern smartphone, and achieving 70,000 applications at the launch of a new platform is good start.

However, Ovum believes that, despite a well-designed Blackberry 10 platform that will certainly attract short-term interest from existing users, the company will struggle to appeal to a wider audience, and in the long term, will become a niche player in the smartphone market.

So there you have it. What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment. You need to register to do so, but the process only takes a couple of minutes.

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