RIM Rebrands as BlackBerry, and Launches New OS and Two New Smartphones

by Istvan Fekete on January 31, 2013

Yesterday was a big day for the Canadian smartphone manufacturer: it rebranded itself as BlackBerry and unveiled the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 smartphones. The event shows that the company has put great effort into maintaining growth, or at least to preserve its (slipping) market share. But will this be enough? Is the innovation too small, too late? Let’s see the facts.

BlackBerry has re-entered to the game with force; that’s the message we’ve read yesterday. When compared to the competition, the BlackBerry Z10, the company’s flagship smartphone, aims to find a place in the most prominent touchscreen market. It has all the features we’ve come expect from a high-end smartphone — LTE, 8 MP camera, high pixel density (thank you Apple!) — but it doesn’t offer any standout innovation.

Yet BlackBerry has gone the extra mile to make the camera experience as unique as possible, and, as we previously reported, the TimeShift feature sounds great. For those unaware, TimeShift allows you to snap and then choose a frame from a series of images after the frame you wanted. This is indeed unique for a built-in app, but it can’t save the device. In fact, when put under a low-light performance test, the flagship BlackBerry device didn’t even hold the dimmest light to the other cameras.

As BlackBerry’s European managing director Stephen Bates highlighted in a BBC interview, the company redesigned and re-engineered the OS, as well as the devices, but still, after six years, won’t acknowledge any impact that the iPhone had on BlackBerry. When repeatedly asked what his company have learned from Apple while producing the new BlackBerry 10, Bates simply dodges the question and keeps on saying what he planned to say during this interview.

There is nothing wrong with launching a highly competent touchscreen smartphone, the only issue is when you do it. And right now, BlackBerry has pretty much fallen behind, where ‘good’ is simply not good enough, because currently, there is nothing to attract the user to buy the Z10.

Fortunately, BlackBerry announced another smartphone yesterday, the Q10, which improves the well-known, flawless BlackBerry experience, filling the void of QWERTY smartphones, as it is the only reliable smartphone with a keyboard providing a great typing experience — and voids are opportunities. So, I think this is where BlackBerry should put in some ‘promotional love’, as it is a clear winner.

Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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