RIM is hoping its much-delayed BB10 and the launch of devices running it will revive the fortunes of the struggling Canadian phone manufacturer. Once a major player, BlackBerry has been relegated to an also-ran status in the crowded and highly competitive smartphone market. It is expected that RIM will launch 2 new BlackBerry devices later this month (Z10 and X10) running the latest OS, titled BB10.
After getting almost wiped out in the North American market, where it was the undisputed market leader for a short while prior to the launch of the iPhone, RIM is now seeing a renewed interest among consumers just before its January 30 launch date—this after three years in the wilderness and general apathy from users towards its new releases. The news that over 75,000 apps would be available for download from the BlackBerry App World right from Day 1, and the raft of leaked images and videos of the devices, have spurred a substantial buzz for the brand as the launch date draws near.
RIM going all out to make BB10 a hit
While RIM hopes retail sales will be huge, it is also working hard to win back its core base among enterprise customers. BlackBerry had been a favourite among IT managers and CIOs because it was perceived as being less susceptible to security breaches. RIM knows this and has rolled out BB10 training programmes for businesses in many countries. RIM claims that more than 1,600 businesses in US and Canada have already registered to participate in a BlackBerry 10 training program called the BlackBerry 10 Ready Program. RIM also states that the list of businesses and companies who have signed up for this program include Fortune 500 corporations, educational institutions, government agencies and major retailers from across North America. According to Varghese M. Thomas, Director - Corporate Communications, RIM, India & Greater China Region, "the program is intended to provide RIM’s key enterprise customers in India a headstart on using BB10 and BES10, the new Enterprise Mobility Management solution, it’s key components, and it’s relevance to their current and future business needs." Elaborating further, he said, "the BlackBerry 10 Ready Program has been created to deliver all of this through a combination of webinars, special offers, trainings, and relevant information and tools, enabling all enterprise customers to embrace the full power of BB10 and BES10."
It remains to be seen if such pre-launch programmes will help BlackBerry become a major competitor to Apple, with its iOS or the Google developed OS, Android, which has been adopted by major smartphone manufacturers and vendors like Samsung, Sony and LG among others. Both these operating systems enjoy a near duopoly in smartphone markets across the world. Do you think RIM can regain its markets share or even offer credible competition to incumbents? Let us know in the comments section below.