Category: News Created on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 06:15
The new prototype BlackBerry has a touch-screen keyboard that adapts over time to how users type on the keys. It allows users to swipe suggested words up into the message and to swipe across the letters to delete words.
It also has a camera that allows a user to zoom in on a face within a picture, and to play around with frames on either side of when the picture was taken – and a video was shown of a user winding back the clock on a photo to a moment when the subject’s eyes weren’t closed.
“I love that, I love that – this is so cool,” RIM chief Thorsten Heins said gleefully as Vivek Bhardwaj, head of RIM’s software portfolio showed off the device.
The address to the assembled developers and partners at BlackBerry World clearly emphasized productivity, Mr. Heins brought up senior executives from both SalesForce.com and Cisco, which said it was developing a teleconferencing app for BlackBerry 10. RIM's stock was down slightly more than 2 per cent in mid-morning trading as Mr. Heins spoke.
It was clear that RIM was trying to emphasize the messaging functions – like e-mail and the popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service – that originally popularized the BlackBerry. Much of Mr. Heins's introduction stressed productivity, though he was careful to emphasize that this was both for users' personal and professional lives – especially since some of his recent comments on an earnings call seemed to hint that RIM might go back to simply being a tool for corporations and business users.
“The demoed BB10 functionality is intriguing, especially the adaptive virtual keyboard given the company's core subscriber base is keypad sensitive,” says Kris Thompson, an analyst at National Bank Financial who follows RIM. “But will it leap-frog the competition? The partner application examples from Salesforce.com and Cisco were both enterprise related. Investors were expecting partnership announcements, which did not materialize in Thorsten's address, which is likely the reason for weakness in the stock today.”
From the brief demo, which did not include any video or content demonstrations, it was clear that these messaging functions have been evolved significantly, allowing users to multitask by swiping between various applications – much as RIM’s PlayBook tablet does already, which is not a surprise, given that the BlackBerry 10 software is an evolved version of the PlayBook’s current operating system.
RIM, which has lost significant market share in the United States and other developed markets, is relying on BlackBerry 10 to help it regain its footing in a smartphone sector that shifted dramatically with the introduction of the iPhone. Once a leader in this space, RIM has slipped behind, especially as users flocked to apps, multimedia, video and Web browsing – functions that were more difficult to do on a BlackBerry than on rival smartphones like the iPhone and others from HTC and Samsung.
Mr. Heins has been tasked with executing on the company’s turnaround strategy, which he has stressed involves a strong focus on BlackBerry 10, even as RIM reaches out to investigate possible strategic partnerships, such as in video content, that can help it succeed in a changed marketplace.
Photo Credit To PocketBerry
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