Rating: GoMobile News meet’s with RIM’s Vivek Bhardwaj
RIM’s PR people billed it as a ‘hands-on’ session with the latest (and officially still unreleased) version of the BlackBerry OS. But GoMobile News came away fromour meeting with a more positive feeling about the Canadian mobile phone supplier’s future in the industry. The company has not just been looking at what the competition can offer in order to match it, but it has also been looking at what it does best. With BlackBerry v.10, the company has gone back to a principle which we first encountered with Sendo (the defunct British handset supplier). That is, a mobile phone should be usable with just one hand.For those mobile app developers who don’t already know this, RIM is in the business of seeding software houses with a free BB v.10 handset. It’s given away circa 2K and intends to hand out a further 3K.
In essence, the improvements in BB v.10 are down to acquisitions. On the UI side, RIM has acquired The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) and the QNX operating system through QNX.
GoMobile News has been chatting with RIM’s head of software portfolio, Vivek Bhardwaj, and he pointed out that the QNX OS has previously proved popular in the automotive sector.
Why was that? Well, he couldn’t actually claim it but QNX doesn’t crash. One app can’t affect another – and that’s good news for users. QNX is also good at using multi-core processors.
That means that BlackBerry apps aren’t particularly processor hungry. Which in turn leads to better battery life. Which has also been one of the BlackBerry’s key selling points.
Bhardwaj confirmed that a design objective with BB v.10 is that the battery lasts for a typical day. And that takes into account that most BlackBerry users are pretty intensive in their use of the device.
Reading between the lines, GoMobile News made another discovery. RIM itself can’t guess whether ‘all-touch’ devices will prove the most popular or whether those with physical keyboards will continue to be in demand.
So with BB v.10 it’s going to be a suck it and see situation, with Bhardwaj hinting that in some territories, a physical keyboard is a must-have.
His comments about BBM (Black Berry Messenger) were also intriguing. There are plenty of rival IM [Instant Messaging] apps out there.
But with BBM you know when the message has been delivered and when it has been read. Unique. The trend is now to build BBM right into the mobile app itself.
He claimed that when FourSquare released a ‘BBM connected’ version of its app, it had 0.25 million downloads in one single day. That blows all other mobile OS versions of the app right out of the water.
So, don’t write off the BlackBerry platform like many other market watchers seem to have done.
BB v.10 looks impressive. It’s actually Microsoft with Windows Phone 8 which has to prove it will be the survivor. Not RIM.