BlackBerry to launch new BB10 smartphone

 

BlackBerry's latest smartphones could see it become a force in mobile phones again after several years in decline, experts have said.

The launch of the BlackBerry 10 (BB10) handsets and software this Wednesday could lead to the firm's “resurrection”, one said, after it saw its popularity wane in favour of phones like the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S3.

Another who has held and used the device ahead of the launch said it had “high specifications” that allowed users to do “good stuff in a couple of clicks”, which would appeal to both businesses and consumers.

But another questioned whether the launch, delayed from last year, meant the brand's owner, Canadian firm Research In Motion (RIM), had left it too late.

Malik Kamal-Saadi, principal analyst with Informa, said the new operating system (OS) on the two expected handsets was a “trump card” that could see it win back customers lost through the poor performance of the previous BlackBerry 7 phones.

He said: “The 'experience' is very attractive for business users and consumers.

“BB10 has what is needed to seduce back in both developed markets (Europe and North America).

“I haven't seen anything like it in terms of the experience.”

Mr Kamal-Saadi held and used the devices at RIM's European headquarters in Slough.

He said the system would be appealing to both business and social high-end users in Europe and North America, where BlackBerry lost the most ground over the past two or three years.

But he added that the software was akin to the first generation of iPhones in being so radically different it may take people a little while to get used to it.

Investors will “leap into the sky” if BB10 sells more than four million units in the first three months on sale, he said, but sales of between one and two million would be okay. Anything less than one million would be a “big mess”.

He pointed out that the first iPhone, which went on to become a phenomenon, did not exceed four million sales in the first quarter year of sales and the less popular Windows phone sold between one-and-a-half and two million.

BlackBerry's handsets revolutionised white-collar working a decade ago and are widely credited with kick-starting the smartphone boom.

BlackBerry plans to launch two handsets, the Z10 and X10 on Wednesday. Pictures leaked online purporting to be the Z10 show a touchscreen phone along similar lines to the iPhone. The X10 is believed to be more of a classic BlackBerry, with a Qwerty keyboard.

Ernest Doku, technology expert with uSwitch.com, said: “For RIM and BlackBerry, it is very much the resurrection of the BlackBerry brand.

“Consumers have been waiting a long time to see what they were coming up with. They have fallen to the wayside but a lot of signs are pointing to this being their return to relevance in the smartphone market.”

He said that people would also be waiting for a likely version with a Qwerty keyboard.

“There is a massive USP (unique selling proposition) in the return of the physical keyboard,” he added.

“Nine out of 10 consumers we asked related that with the BlackBerry.

“BlackBerry has been lucky in terms of its (fanbase) loyalty which may not have been the case for people like Nokia.

“It could well be a success story for them.”

The battle for domination of the mobile and tablet market has become increasingly heated in the past 18 months, with Apple's competitors taking it on with a series of new products.

Nokia and Microsoft joined forces to launch two new phones which run on the Windows operating system.

Apple was dealt a new blow to morale as figures for the Christmas period showed its rocket-like growth had continued to stall, causing a fall in its share price.

But some question whether the latest BlackBerry launch is too little too late.

Russell Feldman, associate director for technology and telecoms consulting at YouGov, said: “We know that right now RIM is in a poor situation, and so there is definitely a lot of pressure for the BlackBerry 10 to deliver.

“According to SMIX UK, our consumer smartphone tracker, two-thirds of RIM's current customers do not expect to get a BlackBerry again, with most opting to switch to an iPhone.

“BlackBerry 10 has the opportunity to at least stop the rot... providing it is able to market itself effectively and curry favour with retailers and operators.

“It also needs to be a decent system to at least get critics on its side, and it then could have the potential to take share away from others. However, RIM may have left it too late.”

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own