Will BB10 be Enough?
Earlier today, Thorsten Heins unveiled the long awaited devices that will hope to save RIM from the pit of despair...correction...the company RIM (Research in Motion) is now named Blackberry in a bold attempt to demonstrate the company's new direction.
I think there are three contributing factors that will make or break the Canadian tech company over the next 12 months:
- Applications - while Blackberry says that 70,000 applications have been made available and that this is the most a platform launch has ever had - I'm still not convinced. From what I understand, blackberry has had to offer steep incentives to bring the developer community to the BB10 community and I don't believe this is a sustainable approach. Developers go where the masses go...so the incentives will need to continue under the consumers flock to BB10...a big risk.
- Supporting Eco System - earlier today I read that BMW and Honda were just a few automakers that were beginning to implement Apple's Siri friendly Bluetooth compatibility in 2013. This is big for Apple because the greater the "barriers of exit", the less likely that iPhone users will move to the Blackberry. Previously, it was little things like docking speaker systems and iPad compatibility. But a car! users will never leave if a $30k purchase is optimized for their phone.
- Bring your own Device - Perhaps the biggest indicator is the trend of bring your own device to work. For those of you that are not familiar with BYOD, it saves work employees from carrying a work phone and a personal phone and leverages IT to merge the two while maintaining security. I'll admit that the "balance" feature on BB10 did seem interesting for BYOD, because it allows users to divide those two elements and treat work and personal like two distinct phones. It is yet to be seen how companies will choose BYOD providers however, will it be the companies? Or will it be the employees? Only time will tell.
Although the stock price rallied over 30% since January, today's announcement saw the market erode most of that growth with a near 12% drop in price to under $14.
So do I think that these new devices will save Blackberry? I think there is a better chance of Rick Ross running the Boston Marathon this summer.