BlackBerry 10 is perhaps RIM’s last attempt to develop a successful operating system.
Despite launching in 2013 and RIM losing money last quarter, its boss thinks BlackBerry 10 will take mobile operating systems to new levels.
Could BlackBerry 10 be the smartphone operating system evolution consumers don’t need?
RIM announced its second-quarter earnings for this year, revealing continued losses. CEO Thornsten Heins described BlackBerry 10 as taking smartphone platforms to the next level, whatever the next level means.
RIM reported losses of $235 million during the second quarter, seeing a turnaround for $600 million from $419 million in 2011. Revenues were $2.9 billion.
RIM sold 7.6 million devices, down three million from 2011 when it sold 10.6 million. However, analysts’ predictions put sales at 6.4 million devices. The figure reveal the increasing movements of enterprise users to iOS, Android, and maybe even Windows Phone in the future.
RIM’s lagging fortunes contrast Apple and Samsung; the companies continue to sell millions of devices and build for popular platforms. Recent data revealed iOS features 700,000 apps while 670,000 apps are on Android. RIM rebooting the platform means it needs to delivery from launch.
Competition Continues To Deliver
To put the gap in perspective, Apple sold five million iPhone 5s inside a week from its September 12 announcement. Apple’s rate of sales will continue following the immediate weeks form launch and once the phone is in stock. RIM struggles to generate similar demand with the media. Google is probably the only other company seeing publicity with Android. Perhaps RIM is in a situation where the media is going to provide a negative spin on what it produces, regardless of merits.
RIM CEO Thornsten Heins did say competitors have released strong devices. However he described BlackBerry 10 as taking mobile platforms to the next level, a debateable claim. RIM is introducing interesting features like apps being displayed as thumbnails.
RIM sent out an alpha unit of a device-in-a-device, with the suspect first BlackBerry device inside a thick rectangular casing. Reaction seems to be positive, though caution is directed towards RIM: it needs to gain developer support. Creating a video where three executives sign seem unprofessional. Would Apple or Samsung have created that video?
BlackBerry 10 launches Q2 2013.