Research in Motion (RIM) has announced today that they’ll launch their new BlackBerry 10 devices—a full touchscreen model and one with a QWERTY keyboard—on January 30, 2013. This will be an event at which RIM will finally announce the names of their new devices, as well as prices, launch dates and carrier support.
By launching their new devices within that time period, it marks the first time RIM has been able to actually stick to a date when it concerns the launch of BB10. The OS has been continuously delayed, causing RIM’s stock and marketshare to plummet. RIM has high hopes that its new OS will save the day, despite the fact that major government agencies, within the US, have already dropped RIM’s products. Major corporations, like Clorox and Yahoo have done the same as well. RIM’s OS, while new and refreshing as it may be, doesn’t really offer anything that smartphone users can’t already get on iOS, Android and even Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8. But like Windows Phone 8, RIM’s BB10 is going to have a struggle to get developers on board, especially with a new and unproven OS. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and 8, despite being praised for it’s fluid and intuitive UI, hasn’t taken off, mainly due to its barren app ecosystem, something that will be prevalent with BB10 when it launches next year.
So the question now is with BB10 launching in about 3-4 mouths, do enough consumers care to make RIM relevant again? It’s going to be an uphill battle for the folks in Canada, because they have to climb three mountains; Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android to reach the top. I, like many other industry critics, remain skeptical at RIM’s chances, but if the folks in Waterloo want to send me a device to test out, because they think it can change my mind, then please, reach out. I’ve counted them out for sometime, but I’m willing to eat crow, if they can prove me wrong.