One of the more interesting announcements made by now BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins today atthe BlackBerry 10 launch in New York City is the name change.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker dropped theResearch In Motion company name for BlackBerry.
It sort of reminds me of when Computer Associates changed its name to just CA. Everyone in the industry always called them CA so it made sense. Similar to RIM everyone called them BlackBerry or referred to them as BlackBerry.
But I for one will miss the RIM name because it suited the company very well. It was a company built by researchers who developed a mobility product for a fast paced world.
RIM today is a different company and several of its founders are either gone or not fully involved in the operation. I thought it was smart move to re-invent themselves in a way as BlackBerry.
The brand change also puts to bed all those rumours of the company either selling off its handsets or licensing its OS. They are BlackBerry and a BlackBerry is a smartphone with an OS. See what I mean?
Here is what I like from today’s BlackBerry 10 launch. The ability to run several apps at once is a big breakthrough. You have to hand it to BlackBerry here because today’s user and the next generation of user will be able to handle multiple apps. Email preview was smart for business users. The camera that takes multiple shots is great.
The screen should have been a bit bigger. The price is quite competitive and they will run on LTE and HSPA+ networks.
In terms of innovation the cover made from material that's lighter but harder than plastic is something that will get a lot of attention.
Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach’s also thought BlackBerry really stood out today. Leach said the Blackberry 10 platform offers a differentiated user experience in today’s crowded and homogenous smartphone market. The Blackberry Z10 and Q10 will stand out from the Android masses and look distinct from Apple’s iPhone. The user experience of Blackberry 10 introduces some nice new features but importantly builds on Blackberry’s UI heritage and therefore will certainly appeal to existing Blackberry users. However, the challenge for the company will be to attract new users and those that have already moved to alternative smartphones
And, Leach is right. That will be the challenge for sure but I think BlackBerry really did its homework this time by adding Skype along with hundred of others apps. Skype is a must as people today use Skype to communicate personally as well as professionally.
Leach agreed saying Blackberry has rightly focused on insuring that the Blackberry 10 devices have a large catalogue of content and applications which is now essential for any modern smartphone, and achieving 70,000 applications at the launch of a new platform is good start.
Heins and BlackBerry did a lot of things right today, but Leach’s conclusion is that BlackBerry will certainly attract short-term interest from existing users the company will struggle to appeal to a wider audience and in the long-term will become a niche player in the smartphone market.
That could happen, but BlackBerry is not resigned to that fate. They have changed. That is certain and this day marks a new beginning for the Waterloo-based vendor. It will be up to them to win over the marketplace.
Three quick hits before I go.Ingram Micro has promoted Kirk Robinson to senior vice president, commercial markets and global accounts for the North America region.
Robinson will also be in charge of the distributor’s high-profile strategic business units.
WinTech announced that Patrick Diab has been appointed brand strategist for the company. In his new position, Diab will be responsible for day-to-day marketing, social media, sales, customer relations, communications, brand advancement and implementing creative digital marketing campaigns.
FalconStor Software has hired Pramila Nair as its new country manager for the Canadian market.