This week Research In Motion unveiled its newest operating system, the BlackBerry 10, at RIM’s BlackBerry World conference. CEO Thorsten Heins showcased their new focus on fewer keystrokes and swipe gestures, and is replacing BlackBerry’s physical keyboard in favor of a new touch-based keyboard. RIM’s created a new OS to enable a simpler and convenient way for accessing information which they hope can compete against Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. BlackBerry currently only has 6.7% of the market share of smartphones compared to their 2009 market share of 55%.
A severe problem with the BlackBerry is the lack of applications available on the phone. It will be extremely difficult for RIM to draw software developers from Apple’s highly lucrative App Store to develop apps for the BlackBerry. However, RIM is “subsidizing” certain app developers to create apps, such as Gamesloft, set to offer 11 games at launch. They are also improving their software toolkits to make the task of creating apps simpler.
RIM used to be synonymous with smartphones, but is now severely behind. Clearly, investors do not believe that this phone will be enough to revive RIM back to its glory days, and RIM will need to push developers into creating a smartphone that can truly compete against RIM’s rivals. Because its rivals are now well established, RIM needs a revolutionary phone and the BlackBerry 10 currently does not seem to be enough.
-- Evan Wang