RIM Shows New BlackBerry Hardware Design - InformationWeek

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RIM Shows New BlackBerry Hardware Design

Research In Motion hints at the future of the BlackBerry as it shares a hardware reference platform device with a big screen and the latest version of BB 10 operating system.

Finally, Clewley talked about BlackBerry 10 being a "communication experience," and how it's about transitioning from an "I" experience to a "we" experience. Rhetoric aside, RIM is betting that BlackBerry 10 is all about how we interact and share. For instance, BlackBerry 10 plays well with social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are deeply integrated into the messaging experience, along with email, voice communication, and BBM. RIM is calling this universal, integrated messaging experience "BlackBerry Hub," perhaps borrowing a page (or a name) from Microsoft Windows Phone. It will be interesting to hear what Microsoft has to say about this.

360 view/inbox experience
A Hub for communications.

From within this hub, you get what Clewley called a 360-degree experience. For example, if you pull down from the top of the inbox, you can suddenly see upcoming calendar appointments. And if you click on the people tab from the calendar, it shows who was invited, messages associated with the appointment, and so on. This contextual approach is similar to what we've seen on the BlackBerry Playbook, but at a surface glance it seems even more tightly integrated into the user experience. Or, as Clewley stressed, users don't have to exit one task to access the next logical one.

It's a compelling approach, but time will tell if it's a game-changer. There is plenty in BlackBerry 10 that could be considered table stakes--necessary for the modernization of the BlackBerry experience, but old hat by now.

For example, RIM demonstrated a retooled BlackBerry App World, complete with music and video content, and talked about social games, courtesy of its acquisition of ScoreLoop. The camera app has the ability to time-shift (finding the perfect picture from essentially a few seconds of video capture). The touch keyboard has what looks like a nifty predictive capability, but I'm not sure it's any better than what's in the latest version of Android. These aren't nearly enough, but they're good.

Since RIM has continued to push BlackBerry 10 off into the future (it was originally slated for late 2012), working to perfect it rather than hasten an imperfect re-entry, there's still the chance that other mobile OSes will pass it by. Even Windows Phone 8 will be out months before BlackBerry 10, and there are already signs that Microsoft has thoroughly thought through the enterprise experience (for a more in depth look at what Microsoft is up to, generally, download our Windows 8 Survival Guide).

This week's BlackBerry Jam is something of a culmination of RIM's efforts to woo developers year-round. The company has been conducting "Jams" around the world, and claims that they've been quite popular--RIM added 10 additional cities (to the 20 originally scheduled) between May and now. And earlier this year, RIM guaranteed developers that their applications would earn at least $10,000 in the BlackBerry App World, or RIM would cut them a check for the balance.

In other words, RIM needs developers, or else all of the best hardware in the world, and all of the greatest user experience tricks in the universe won't save it. This week, RIM will give developers more BlackBerry 10 to work with--the home screen experience, the App World functionality, flow (but the Hub APIs, while available, will not be part of the phone experience yet). Undoubtedly RIM will try to inspire developers with more promises and guarantees.

We'll see if it's enough.

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Cool heads win out
Cool heads win out,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/1/2012 | 5:52:03 PM
re: RIM Shows New BlackBerry Hardware Design
That's the ugliest iPhone I've ever seen!
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2012 | 1:39:06 PM
re: RIM Shows New BlackBerry Hardware Design
BB10 hasn't just been delayed from late 2012 as the article states, but also from late 2011 and early 2012. This, therefor, is the third delay, comprising an entire year. Possibly, if it did arrive in late 2011, in good condition, it would have stood a fair chance. But a year later just has it competing with systems that are even more entrenched. For example, the iPhone has pushed it from the number one spot in corporations. Where will it be in the several months it will take to get this out?

They keep talking about security, as though this was the be all and end all. But studies have shown that most corporations, and even government agencies don't now take advantage of all the security features of the BB. Meanwhile iOS and even Android have been improving their security. Corporate is now a lost cause for RIM. Consumers don't need these features, and wouldn't use them if they did.

They are missing the holiday shopping season, which Heinz dismisses as though it doesn't matter, stating that their partners prefer them to, in a blatant lie. It is similar to the one Lazarius told us in early 2012 when pushing the introduction back to the late year, explaining that they were waiting for a "chip" for their phones, and that otherwise, the OS was ready.

Who is going to believe RIM anymore? Their Playbook intro was a major disaster, and still is, giving transparent excuses as to why it needed to be tethered to a BB phone for basic needs such as mail and contacts.

Whatever this will be, even assuming it does arrive in the first quarter of 2013, it will end up being too little and too late.
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2012 | 11:31:44 AM
re: RIM Shows New BlackBerry Hardware Design
RIM's focus must be on getting something new to market and making it to be relevant. Otherwise they are better off selling their assets as long as they are worth something.
Andrew Hornback
Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/26/2012 | 1:46:52 AM
re: RIM Shows New BlackBerry Hardware Design
"The user experience does feels like one organized stack of cards" ... wow, so it sounds like RIM is stealing ideas from webOS.

"Time will tell whether it's just a neat new idea, or truly useful way to navigate." - this isn't a new idea, again, Palm was doing this years ago.

What's old is new again... will it save RIM? Didn't do much good for Palm or HP. Only time will tell.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
User Rank: Apprentice
9/25/2012 | 6:13:32 PM
re: RIM Shows New BlackBerry Hardware Design
I am very, very eager to see what RIM has to offer. Yet don't know if I can wait mch longer....
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