BlackBerry was once the juggernaut among smartphones. It was the smart phone when there were no other smart phones on the market. With a stranglehold over the corporate market they were able to keep their domination up for years as the high end mobile phone for the power user on the go. On January 9th, 2007 that all started to fall apart with the release of the iPhone. Yes, BlackBerry was able to keep their spot by lowering prices on the consumer end and due to their high infiltration into the consumer and primarily business markets for as long as they had but as contracts begin to expire so did their marketshare. Many companies kept them as mandatory for how much they had placed into BlackBerry Enterprise security in their companies but it was only a matter of time as people stopped using them unless they had to and even then would be overlooked for people bringing their own devices into the work environment.
Time passed and BlackBerry seemed to not listen to what the consumers wanted until they have become a fraction of the market that they once were. Now though BlackBerry hopes to start reclaiming their lost userbase with the upcoming release of BlackBerry 10 and a new line of forms to support it. The new phones, which are still not being truly consumer tested, are being promised to be a shift from the company’s record of featureless devices. They are trying to bring in a fully social experience while still keeping Enterprise security in place for everyone that it is a major concern for.
The next generation of BlackBerry’s are still slightly light on information though a few important pieces are now available both as press releases and as notes to developers.
First up we have a solid resolution setup for the phones having been announced. The full touchscreen devices that will be available will have a 720p or 1280 x 720 resolution at the 16:9 aspect ratio. Devices that will have the traditional QWERTY keyboard that BlackBerry is long known for will have a 720 x 720 screen.
Whlie there are 2 official launch devices confirmed it is rumored that thare are up to 6 devices fully in development so while 2 should come out immediately 4 more may be available shortly after before the year is out, specs on all of these are still guesswork.
The big feature being touted by BlackBerry 10 though is that it has decided to slightly enter the social market. In 2011 RIM purchased a company called Gist which has quite a few innovative contact management ideas. It’s a new way to interact with your contacts and as BB10 will synch up information from all of your contacts: status updates, meetings, tweets, facebook updates, and a variety of other places it looks as if they are taking the ideas of Gist and building it into the core of the system.
BlackBerry 10 is the operating system that will make or break RIM. The company has fallen on such hard times and it’s hard to imagine they can even pull out of the downward spiral that they have fallen into and this is their last chance to try to reclaim lost users and find new ones. Will they be able to pull it off? Only time and the release and consumer usage of BlackBerry 10 can answer that.
Related Link: BlackBerry Blog