RIM faces trouble despite BlackBerry 10

Words of cautious praise were about the best RIM could hope for at this time

The last couple of years have obviously not been kind to Research in Motion, which is why the company has been hoping to generate some much-needed positive buzz by unveiling portions of its upcoming BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system this week.

Before we get into reactions to BlackBerry 10, though, let's take a look at just what RIM is highlighting with its shiny new OS. The two big features to come out of this week's BlackBerry World conference so far have been a new camera system that is capable of "rewinding" photos to seconds before you took them so you can have more choice in which picture you want to keep if your initial snap doesn't turn out right, and a new touch keyboard system that lets users swipe backward to delete whole words and that adapts to users' typing habits in a manner similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook's QNX-based keyboard system.

MORE: RIM's demo of new BlackBerry impresses programmers, users

SLIDESHOW: A closer look at RIM's BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha smartphone

OPINION: Does BlackBerry still have the juice?

While these new features are certainly welcome, most tech reporters and bloggers at this week's grand unveiling of BlackBerry 10 have generally reacted by calling the new OS a case of too little, too late. To be sure, many writers had positive impressions of BlackBerry 10's new features, including its new keyboard and camera functionalities, but they mostly doubted that they were enough to make a dent in the market shares of mobile world's two OS powerhouses, iOS and Android. Boy Genius Report's Jonathan Geller best summarized this sentiment by basically noting that RIM at this point needs plastic surgery a lot more than it needs a makeover.

"The parts of BlackBerry 10 demoed are slick -- capturing a series of images and combining different elements from each one before you save a photo seems genuinely incredible," he wrote. "What we saw wasn't truly innovative, though. It wasn't compelling enough, and it's unfortunately too late to try and gain enough traction and support for a third mobile ecosystem."

The Verge's Chris Ziegler was significantly more enthusiastic about the newest BlackBerry 10 features demonstrated today, but similarly thought that RIM didn't deliver enough of a differentiator with its new OS to bust through the current duopoly in the smartphone and tablet industry.

"Prior to [HP's now-defunct mobile operating system] WebOS, I would have been bullish on BlackBerry 10," he said. "Now, though? I'm too jaded - lots of moving parts that RIM needs to get right."

CNET's Marguerite Reardon also made comparisons with the ill-fated WebOS and said that it has become very difficult for an upstart operating system to make a dent in the mobile market where Apple and Google are constantly pumping out new updates and devices that further consolidate their market shares.

"There's no question RIM has a long road ahead of it," she wrote. "Many here were reminded of the failings of other companies that developed slick new software that came out much too late to the market. Palm, which essentially invested the smartphone market with its early Palm Pilots, had lagged behind its competitors for years. ... The WebOS platform, which got rave reviews from the technology press and some consumers ... came much too late."

It wasn't all prognostications of doom for RIM, however, as Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said that RIM's initial demo of BlackBerry 10 showed that the company was "still in the game," although he emphasized that RIM needed to ship relatively soon in order to make its mark. And the Verge's Joshua Topolsky said that BlackBerry 10 "looks really promising" although he added the caveat that RIM would "have to deliver serious third-party support." And finally, the NPD Group's Ross Rubin said if RIM could deliver on the promises it showed off in its demonstrations this morning, then the company would truly "have its groove back."

For a company that has faced gloomy prospects over the past couple of years, such words of cautious praise were about the best it could hope for at this time.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Reed

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?