The BlackBerry is like that boyfriend or girlfriend who keeps begging you to take him or her back. They might say they’ve changed, but with history in mind we can’t reasonably take their words for it. Not when they’ve put us through the hell that was the BlackBerry Storm series. Not when they hyped up devices that were 18 months to two years behind the market.
Yet for many BlackBerry will get another chance in just nine days when, on January 30th, Research In Motion unveils the BlackBerry 10 platform. We already know a lot about the platform. Not only has RIM been fairly public with its development, but it also gave us an idea of what to expect with the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. And all factors considered, the PlayBook wasn’t all that bad.
Today the folks at Boy Genius Report have a collection of 100 slides that put BlackBerry 10 on display. Many of them are mundane aspects, such as the setup process and other menus. But it should give you an idea of what to expect when these phones finally hit stores sometime in February.
As a first impression, it seems that the OS is a hybrid between the old BlackBerry OS and Android. Many of the setup menus are right out of BlackBerry 7. There’s nothing wrong with that; they’re just setup menus. Hopefully that is one among very few aspects borrowed from that OS.
The beauty of this is you don’t have to take my word for it. You can check out the gallery for yourself, click around, and get a decent impression of what BlackBerry 10 is all about. It does seem that gestures will play a prominent role in how the device operates, and this gives you a glimpse into how that is going to work.
It does appear that these devices will be priced to sell. Instead of the standard $199 we’ve seen at the launch of nearly every new BlackBerry, BGR hears that it could be down in the $150 range. Many Windows Phones have started here, so it is a decent strategy, especially when many Androids and the higher capacity iPhones run $300 and up. Removing that barrier to entry could prove an effective strategy for RIM.
The two BlackBerry models we’ll see shortly might be among the last that RIM actually produces for itself. For at least a year now we’ve heard speculation that RIM could sell its handset division, license BlackBerry 10 to other hardware manufacturers, or both. CEO Thorsten Heins recently told a German newspaper that selling and licensing are still possibilities, but that a successful BlackBerry 10 launch plays a big part.
This makes enough sense. Again, manufacturers have seen RIM through these years. Why agree to buy assets from them, or license their new platform, if there is no interest from the market? BlackBerry 10, launched on devices that RIM has produced, will give other companies a better gauge of what’s going on. For big companies like Samsung, which might want to find alternatives to Android for competitiveness’s sake, BlackBerry 10 could provide a new alternative. But only if the market responds positively.
It feels as though BlackBerry writers and analysts have been doing speculation pieces for years now. It all builds up to January 30th. We’ll be eagerly awaiting not only RIM’s announcement, but how the market reacts to it.