BlackBerry 10 launch announced, firm’s future at stake

Nov 12, 2012 | Biz/Tech

A new operating system is on the horizon, but is it too late for Research In Motion?

By Katherine Ward

Two new phones will be unveiled Jan. 30; BlackBerry Bold pictured here.

Canada’s Research In Motion announced Monday it will unveil the much-anticipated BlackBerry 10 on Jan. 30, 2013.

The new operating system has had many delays, but officials say it has been worth it.

“In building the BlackBerry 10 we set out to create a truly unique mobile computing experience that constantly adapts to your needs,” said Thorsten Heins, President and  CEO of Research In Motion, in a press release Monday. “The BlackBerry Flow is unlike any smartphone on the market today.”

At this point, not much is known about the specifics of the product.

The press release described a few of the new features, including the BlackBerry Hub (a navigation system), the new BlackBerry keyboard (it learns how to anticipate your writing) and BlackBerry Balance which helps to separate work and personal applications.

However, there is some uncertainty about the Kitchener-Waterloo-based company’s future, and some see this product launch as the organization’s final hope.

“BlackBerry 10 is basically RIM’s last chance to remain relevant,” Brad Reed, news editor at tech blog BGR (Boy Genius Report), told Humber News in an e-mail.

“The company for years has allowed itself to be out-innovated by both Google and Apple and now it seems that Microsoft is finally starting to devote its enormous resources to winning the mobile world.”

Others wonder whether there is enough market share to go around. 

“There is a lot of competition out there there,” Andrew Liszewski, contributing editor for Gizmodo, told Humber News. “I want to be cautiously optimistic and believe the BlackBerry is doing what is needed, but at this point, there’s not a big slice of the pie left for them to reclaim no matter what the operating system ends up being.”

For the world of technology, Liszewski says competition isn’t a bad thing.

“Having BlackBerry back in the game can only benefit everyone,” he said. “It will encourage Google, Apple and Microsoft to continue to push their product and improve features and functionality of their devices.”

But even with so much on the line, the company line remains positive.

“We are very excited about the launch event,” Krista Seggewiss, a RIM spokesperson, told Humber News. “We have learned from our past and using what we learned to build our future.”