There comes a point in some company lifespans where they’re put in a “do or die” situation with one final shot to prove themselves in a changing landscape.
This is one of those times for RIM. And if their press conference earlier today is any indication, they aren’t going down without a fight. They say they’re different, a leaner and meaner company. How different you ask? Different enough to drop the Research In Motion corporate name. RIM is, from here on out, Blackberry.
In an event broadcast worldwide, Blackberry unveiled 2 new handsets intended to plant their beleaguered brand firmly into the future. The big star of the show was the new Blackberry Z10. RIM’s first touch only device since the Blackberry Storm, it’s packing specs that easily compete with today’s high-end smartphones like a 1.5 Ghz. Snapdragon S4 processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 4.2 inch display with 720p resolution, two cameras (2 megapixel front facing, 8 megapixel rear…the latter capable of 1080p recording), MicroHDMI, and LTE/HSPA+ capability.
Not to be out-shadowed was the Blackberry Q10. Designed for Blackberry loyalists who cling to the portrait QWERTY device form factor, it’ll share the same specs as the Z10, save for the screen size at 3.1 inches and 720 x 720 resolution. Blackberry insists that both their virtual keyboard (which is powered by SwiftKey technology) and their physical keyboard will remain the industry standard.
Blackberry also showed off the operating system critical for the success of Blackberry’s relaunch: Blackberry 10. Designed to connect to many of the services in users lives, Blackberry 10 promises to be a faster, more stable, and more attractive OS. On the app front, RIM says that they will have 70,000 apps at launch with more being approved for Blackberry World every day. Speaking of Blackberry World, it now is home to TV, movies and music from the major studios.
From the looks of it, Blackberry seems to have much of what modern smartphone buyers expect: A fresh OS and fresh takes on hardware. Whether they can work their way back into mainstream consumers hearts is another question entirely.
We’ll have more coverage of Blackberry 10 and Blackberry Z10 and Q10 later today. Stay tuned.