Archive for the ‘BLACKBERRY’ Category

RIM & THEIR NEW PORCHE DESIGNED BLACKBERRY SMART PHONE RELEASE ONTO THE MARKET

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

BLACKBERRY TO CLAW BACK THEIR ADVANTAGE FROM THE SMART PHONE GIANTS

Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins holds up a prototype of the BlackBerry 10 smartphone at the BlackBerry World event in Orlando. Photo: Reuters

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion has shown off advanced new features that will be available on new BlackBerry 10 smartphones – and a new prototype – but analysts are already questioning whether it’s “too late” to claw back market share lost to smart hone titans like Apple and Google.

The sneak viewing of its yet-to-be-launched operating system at the BlackBerry World conference in Orlando, Florida, brings the ailing smartphone and tablet maker a step closer to what some have described as the most crucial launch in the company’s history.

In his first keynote address since being appointed chief executive of RIM in January, Thorsten Heins unveiled the new operating system and gave a demonstration of some of its new features which include a new smart virtual keypad, advanced camera capabilities, and its ability to easily traverse between apps and system setting windows using gestures.

The Porsche designed Blackberry displayed at the Blackberry World Event in Orlando.

The Porsche designed Blackberry (not BlackBerry 10) displayed at the Blackberry World Event in Orlando. Photo: Reuters

But Heins gave no concrete date on when the Canadian company would launch a phone that used the new features other than saying hardware and software would be released “later this year”. “We’re taking our time to make sure we get this right,” Heins said.

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Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, who is in Orlando for the conference, speculated in an interview with the Associated Press that it felt like it was “getting close to being too late” for the BlackBerry maker to recover despite its CEO giving what he described as a good speech.

 

“I just get the feeling that I wish they had it [the new operating system] out already. It’s going to be a challenge for them. When they launch BlackBerry 10 devices the iPhone 5, Windows 8 and all the Android devices will all be out,” Misek said.

In demonstrating the new operating system, Heins also showed off the prototype touchscreen smartphone it was running on. Developers of third-party apps for BlackBerry who are attending its seminar will be receiving a similar device – known as Alpha Dev – with different software (not BlackBerry 10).

The idea behind giving developers the prototype – which boasts a 4.2-inch screen and looks like a smaller version of RIM’s PlayBook tablet – is so that they can create apps that will work on the new operating system before it is launched further into this year.

A grab of the new interface.A grab of the new interface.

But the prototype given to developers was met with a fair chunk of criticism in the tech media – one of the key issues being the fact it can’t make calls or access mobile phone networks.

There is also the fact it doesn’t come with the new operating system unveiled by RIM’s CEO on his prototype device, which ran a beta version of the BlackBerry 10. The device given to developers instead runs something similar to what is powering the PlayBook tablet.

New features

Head of RIM’s software portfolio, Vivek Bhardwaj, described the new virtual on-screen keypad as being tailored to each individual user “just like a glove”. “We’re using things like modelling algorithms to actually learn where you press every single key,” he said.

The new keypad also makes it easy for users to “type fast and accurately”, according to Bhardwaj, and shows suggestions for words on the keypad midway through typing. The words can then be swiped upwards to be inserted into something like a text message.

“This keypad really saves you time,” Heins said during a demonstration.

The advanced camera software, another of the clever features shown off that will be built into the next iteration of the BlackBerry operating system, allows users to go “back and forth in time” after taking a picture to ensure they get the right shot, Bhardwaj said.

He showed an example of a picture taken where one of the subjects had blinked when the photo was taken. He then demonstrated how one could scroll back and forth in time through a variety of shots that were taken when the photo was made, meaning one could choose a photo that was taken where a subject had not blinked, making for a better outcome.

Heins said the feature meant users would “never miss that magic moment”.

The other major feature shown off in a demonstration was a more swifter way of switching between apps running on a smartphone using the new operating system.

“We wanted a user paradigm that is easy and fast,” Heins said, showing how information from documents, emails, calendars, and address books could slide in and out from a smartphone screen’s edges. “It’s all about making things flow.”

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Companies ditch RIM

The unveiling follows some of the biggest corporate giants in Australia and around the world ditching the Blackberry in favour of Apple and Google-powered mobiles and comes as research firm IDC said that RIM’s share of the global smartphone market had slipped to 6.7 per cent in the first quarter of this year, from 13.6 per cent a year earlier. Last year IDC said RIM’s share of the smartphone market in Australia was only 5 per cent.

Nicholas Ebbeck, commercial sales manager at Dick Smith for Australia and New Zealand, said BlackBerry had recently seen a decline in the corporate market not only because of the iPhone but because of other smartphones too. Ebbeck manages the smartphone contracts for big corporates, including Woolworths (owner of Dick Smith).

“Corporates at the moment are looking at alternatives and I think BlackBerry have always been a small piece of an organisation’s communication [system],” he said. Woolworths executives had recently switched to Apple’s iPhone, he said. IBM Australia and Dell also recently decided to abandon RIM.

Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said in an email that RIM’s sneak preview of the new features showed that it was “focused on details that differentiate meaningfully”. But the key to gaining back market share, he said, would be shipping and execution of a new mobile.

John Jackson, an analyst at CCS Insight, told Reuters that Heins’s address was low key but effective in presenting RIM’s vision.

“Mr Heins delivered a decent articulation of what and who RIM stood for while providing a sufficiently tantalising glimpse of some unique BlackBerry 10 features to keep things interesting,” Jackson said.  “This should be enough to at least give the naysayers pause, if only temporarily.”

Ben Grubb travelled to BlackBerry World in Orlando, Florida as a guest of RIM

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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha