RIM announced the availability of two new devices today. The BlackBerry 10 devices “rise to the level of their competition, and in some cases — such as the keyboard’s prediction and multilingual support — surpass it,” blogs Charles Golvin, vice president and principal analyst. “[It] is a beautiful device. [They] have done a great job with the industrial design, the swipe-rich interaction gestures, and a whole lot more,” blogs Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst.
The company has bolstered its applications catalogue, but “some of the apps I rely on are missing. No TripIt. No Evernote. No Flipboard. No Expensify. No Words With Friends. And more troubling, I found one app that appeared to be a Chinee counterfeit and seems now to have been so,” writes Schadler.
But are the new devices enough for RIM to re-emerge as a significant player in the smartphone wars? “At best, RIM’s new products will allow it to stop the bleeding and hold its market share. Our consumer data shows that, while more than half of US BlackBerry owners plan to get a new phone in the next year, fewer than two in five of them say it will be another BlackBerry,” Golvin writes.
The news isn’t much better in the enterprise, where CIOs are supporting iOS and Android. In the US, “BlackBerry has only 6% of the information workforce installed base . . . so BlackBerry is playing serious catchup,” Schadler blogs.
There is very little incentive for marketers to invest in customized BlackBerry experiences. “The longer-term challenge for the BlackBerry brand is still huge,” blogs Thomas Husson, vice president and principal analyst. “Building reach to engage with a large enough installed base of BB10 active users will take time and requires BlackBerry to overcome its branding challenge in the US and Europe.”