RIM CEO Eyes BlackBerry Day of Reckoning
Jan. 30 is the day that RIM has chosen for the announcement of its next operating system - BlackBerry 10 - and a new device or two that will run on it.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, in a conversation with The Verge, admitted that his company has "this one shot", with the new products, to win back smartphone buyers and remain relevant.
Missing the upcoming 2012 holiday sales season, as well as a chance to make a big splash at the Consumer Electronics Show (in early January), might not help his company's outlook. But Heins believes the late January launch will actually work to RIM's advantage, keeping the device from being lost amidst a slew of other new smartphone launches.
The next BlackBerry devices have to compete with popular mobile offerings based on Google(GOOG) , Apple(AAPL) and Microsoft(MSFT) software. Heins knows that creating a large number of apps for the new products is imperative in this competitive environment. A handful of new BB10 applications in a revamped multimedia ecosystem won't attract buyers.
He also stated that his company is focused on one particular market for the products - the "hyper-connected, multitasking - need to get things done" type of user. He thinks that tactic won't conflict with Microsoft.
The biggest hint of what to expect comes from his outlook for the industry. Heins told The Verge that he thinks enterprise computing is changing and that laptops are on the way out:
"My view a smartphone and or a tablet is going to be good enough for 50/60% of all mobile workers of all employees in a corporate enterprise. That's also what we're shooting at with our product with the BB10 platform and with the partnerships that we're building."
We should know, soon enough, if he's right.
--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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