So, the new Blackberry devices and their new operating system are out. Proponents are expecting it to return RIM to the top of the smartphone heap. The more realistic, however, see this device for what it is: a last gasp attempt for RIM to keep Blackberry relevant in a world that they were a big part of (globally) or virtually owned (in North America). In the areas that matter to consumers, the Z10 and BB10 aren’t “better enough” to matter. Sure, the underpinnings are finally a modern operating system, with modern frameworks and tools. At the end of the day, it’s just another touchscreen minitablet that runs some apps. The details may vary, but the general bits are “more of the same”.
Okay, first, never say never. What I’m about to say could turn out to be completely wrong. But I am a big believer of using history as a guide for the future, at least in the general sense. And I am not convinced that either Blackberry 10 or the forthcoming Tizen are going to do anything to unseat Android and iOS as the smartphone platforms of choice (let alone the upcoming Ubuntu for smartphones). And it won’t matter how technically superior either are to the incumbents, and it won’t matter than one (Tizen) is being backed and promoted by the largest manufacturers of smartphones in the world, Samsung. And it certainly doesn’t matter what technologists feel should be the case (read the comments in this Wired article to get an idea of what technologists think about this) You do not disrupt incumbents by building a slightly better variant of what they already make.
A new piece is quoting Thorsten Heins from RIM as saying that carriers are excited about Blackberry 10. Good grief! This is somehow reassuring? Oh boy, the carriers are excited about another device they can use to sell more minutes and get more long-term contracts! What a shock! This falls under the category of news that includes “water still wet”, “space still cold”, and “fire still burns stuff”. The carriers being “excited” means nothing in terms of the future prospects of Blackberry 10.