A new page will be turned (well, more likely finger-swiped) this week, with Research In Motion’s official launch of BlackBerry 10 in just two days time.
The event may also mark a turning point in the story of Canadian technological innovation and economic self-sufficiency.
Whether consumers will buy into the new BlackBerry 10 smartphone and operating system offering is one major question to be answered; whether corporate buyers will acquire RIM itself is another.
Long the subject of take-over rumours in times of perceived weakness, the company is certainly a target for its remaining strengths.
“We are looking at all opportunities—RIM and many others,” Lenovo CFO Wong Wai Ming said during a Jan. 23 interview at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
The company’s stock is rising in advance of the new product release; it still counts tens of millions of committed corporate, government and individual users around the world, and it holds a whack of cash and valuable patents and intellectual property. Both the company and its surrounding spin-off community of innovators and entrepreneurs are seen as crucial to the health of our country’s overall tech sector.
So any attempted RIM take-over, due to its price point as well as its industry significance, would surely trigger a government review, along with the requisite national navel-gazing and sector soul- searching.
The company launched nearly thirty years ago; it has helped create and stimulate a global mobile telephony market, and it has helped make millions for its carrier partners here and abroad.
So RIM’s valuable hardware platform is one asset; it’s portfolio of IP (intellectual property, patents, proprietary processes and more) is even more valuable, and would surely be part of a purchase review process in this country.
Nevertheless, Wednesday will see the unveiling of RIM’s new mobile platform, BB10, as well as the first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
That event alone may be enough to turn the company’s fortunes around.
And WhatsYourTech.ca will be there, with comprehensive planned coverage includes editorial analysis, product comparisons and perspectives, as well as exclusive video coverage from the launch event and first-person reviews of the phone itself.
Long-time BlackBerry users and those considering a new purchase will want to check out the various components of WhatsYourTech.ca’s coverage, as contributing editors Ted Kritsonis and Gadjo Sevilla provide hands-on insight on product features and functions, as well as high level perspective on how BB10 will fit in with the rest of the ever-evolving mobile market.
Unofficial sneak previews and online rumour mills have provided hints at what the shape of things to come may be, with suggestions of a new top notch mobile Web browser, new BBM and social network connectivity features, multi-use configurations for personal and professional environments, and powerful tools for digital media creation and consumption included in the new offerings.
RIM has already introduced its new Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution, BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, with new features for device management, industry leading security, and mobile applications management for smartphones and tablets in a consolidated solution that also offers a console approach to managing Android and iOS devices.
It seems Canadian consumers are eager to get a hold of the new system; service provider Telus, for example, says it’s already had a good response to its pre-registration for pre-orders, part of a widely reported enthusiastic response from all the Canadian carriers, following a special showcase and preview of the hardware and software.
Andrew McLeod, managing director of RIM’s Canadian operations, said that “the response that we got back from the executive team at some of the Canadian carriers was tremendous.”
Canada, RIM affirms, will be of particular focus during the initial launch of BB10.
“It’s very important to us that we demonstrate leadership and strength in our home market,” Andrew added.
Whether RIM can regain its lost ground, polish its somewhat tarnished reputation and re-establish itself as a mobile technology leader in the marketplace may begin with a successful launch in Canada, but it must extend its reach and create demand on the global stage as well.
BlackBerry 10 launch events are scheduled for locations around the world: Toronto, New York, London, Paris, Johannesburg and Dubai.
submitted by Lee Rickwood
# # #
So, whats your tech?
How will BB10’s release affect you?
What device do you use now, and what would make you buy a new BB10?