BlackBerry 10’s big unveiling is coming on January 30th. And more so than in previous years, this really is a make-or-break launch for parent company Research in Motion (RIM).
The phones it has served up in recent years have been increasingly irrelevant, its software falling well short of rival platforms from Google, Apple and Microsoft.
But with a farcical boardroom team now consigned to history, this is the time for RIM to forge ahead and succeed. Here are five reasons why:
1 Better hardware competition
Samsung and Apple are really the only two companies pushing high-end design led phones.
HTC’s models feel clunky and dated, while LG’s Nexus 4 is a budget wonder but can’t shake that cheap look.
BlackBerry 10 phones, if as smart and slick as has been suggested, could give pause for the thought to big rivals and ensure we get improved, design-focused handsets across the board.
2 A decent OS alternative
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 has hardly made a dent in Google Android or Apple’s iOS.
BlackBerry 10 has the potential to do so thanks to the brand’s legacy among professionals.
Like hardware, we need more software competition in order to boost innovation. Android has improved exponentially in recent years but iOS has been resting on its laurels for far longer than Apple would care to admit.
BlackBerry 10 could be the kick in the rear it needs to keep on the bleeding edge.
3 To save RIM from extinction
Make no mistake, if BlackBerry 10 flops, it’s curtains for RIM.
The Canadian company is no longer seen as the go-to mobile-maker for safe, secure work devices, thanks to major outages and a sluggish response to them.
If the new OS doesn’t succeed, then it won’t be long before the vultures of Google and Apple start circling, looking to pick off the valuable areas of the business and subsume them into their own mobile plans.
4 Improve BBM rivals
BBM was the big reason for BlackBerry’s upsurge in the valuable youth market. But iMessage and WhatsApp have ensured that it’s no longer top dog.
However, it’s still a great way to keep in contact and is every bit as good as the latter and far better than the former.
A good new version of BBM will push Apple to innovate more in this area and make Microsoft-owned Skype look over its shoulder too.
5 Give succour to other ailing mobile makers
Other failing mobile-makers, especially HTC and Nokia, might think RIM’s fall would be a help.
But surely if BlackBerry 10 does the business, it’ll show that even firms who’ve fallen on hard times can rise again. That means that HTC and Nokia should redouble efforts to get back to the top table.