As unthinkable as it seems now, there was a time not so long ago, specifically throughout much of 2008 and 2009, that the top two smartphone operating systems in terms of sales were BlackBerry OS and Symbian. For kids these days, it’s all about Android and iOS.
Canadian manufacturer Research in Motion is hoping its spanking new operating system, BlackBerry 10, can claw back some of that former glory, and perhaps edge towards double figure smartphone market share.
Interestingly, given the non-impact of Windows Phone and the near death of Symbian, and despite a 34.7% year-on-year drop in smartphone shipments, IDC reckons RIM’s BlackBerry OS is currently in third place. Huzzah?
However, we’ve still an entire quarter-and-a-bit to go before BlackBerry 10 arrives, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see RIM drop into last place (out of the big four).
As such, BlackBerry 10 will have its work cut out for it and then some. Will it be a colossal failure or a rip roaring success? Who knows? What we do know is this stuff:
BlackBerry 10 name
Before BlackBerry 10 launched, we were referring to it as BBX. Sounds pretty cool, huh? Alas, it turns out the name was already being used by BASIS International, and resultantly RIM’s BBX was renamed BlackBerry 10.
BlackBerry 10 delays
Crazily, we’ve been discussing BlackBerry 10 delays for almost a year now. Back in December 2011, we heard that BlackBerry 10 had been delayed till “the latter part of 2012”.
Of course, we’re in “the latter part of 2012” right now, and still no sign of BlackBerry 10. We were then told to expect it in January 2013, but that’s possibly now slipped to late Q1 2013. Oh dear.
BlackBerry 10 launch
BlackBerry 10 was finally launched over six months ago, back at BlackBerry World 2012. Heins & Co told us it’s “agile and nimble”, which is all well and good, however phrases like “leveraging infrastructures” left us wondering if RIM really has its finger on the pulse.
BlackBerry 10 features
Over the past few months we’ve seen a handful of fairly in-depth looks at BlackBerry 10. This 13-minute BlackBerry 10 hands-on details features such as “live apps” and the BlackBerry 10 Hub.
BlackBerry 10 handsets
BlackBerry 10 handsets will fall under two categories, namely the all-touch L-Series and the QWERTY-based N-Series, with the former tipped to touch down first.
The L-Series’ BlackBerry London in particular has a 4.2in display, TI OMAP4 processor, 8MP rear camera and microSD support.
BlackBerry 10 resolutions
RIM recently finalised the BlackBerry 10 resolutions. The all-touch L-Series will rock a 1280 x 720 formation (16:9), while the N-Series will have square 720 x 720 displays above their QWERTY keyboards.
BlackBerry 10 apps
RIM recently opened the door for BlackBerry 10 app submissions, with early entries potentially qualifying for preferred placement in BlackBerry App World.
Better still, RIM has guaranteed $10,000 for BlackBerry 10 developers, should they meet a reasonable list of requirements. Not too shabby.
BlackBerry 10 licensing
A key factor in BlackBerry 10 grabbing third place could be licensing the software to other manufacturers. Whether or not anyone else will be interested remains to be seen.
Martin went on a juicy rant about BlackBerry 10 licensing back in August.
BlackBerry 10 outlook
There’s no denying it; RIM has a mountain to climb when BlackBerry 10 arrives. They’ll miss the Christmas buying frenzy this year, and by the time the first BlackBerry 10 handset drops, there’s a good chance we’ll have welcomed a plethora of new stuff at CES and Mobile World Congress. The more knowledgeable mobile fan will also be looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy S IV.
Just yesterday we heard that one investor predicts BlackBerry 10 will be dead on arrival, saying: “We expect the new OS to be met with a lukewarm response at best and ultimately likely to fail.” Eek.
Personally, we’d like to see BlackBerry 10 do well. A souped-up BlackBerry Bold Touch would be interesting, and it’d be nice to have some sort of battle for third place – instead of Windows Phone taking it by default.
Thoughts? Stick ‘em in Comments, baby.