The upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system from Research In Motion is seen as a key component in the company’s effort to stop its gradual dive in the mobile market. RIM Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said last Wednesday that BlackBerry 10 will offer a long-term value for the company’s shareholders.
Heinz revealed in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that his company has already allocated $800 million out of the $1 billion promised savings for the fiscal year that will end on March next year. He said that he’s confident to identify the rest of the promised amount as RIM prepares to launch the new BlackBerry 10 phones.
RIM hopes to regain the market share it lost to rivals like Apple Inc and Google’s Android-based smartphones.
The popularity of Android and iOS devices affected the consumer and business customers of RIM as they left BlackBerry by big numbers. BlackBerry phones usually offer more security features than their rivals.
However, analysts seem to be doubting RIM’s capability to bring back its lost glory, citing the botched launched of its 2011 PlayBook tablet that was designed to supposedly compete with Apple’s iPad. The PlayBook was very hardware capable but its software aspect was not complete during launch and customers needed multiple updates.
The long preparation of BlackBerry 10 until the first quarter of 2013 is planned to prevent making the same error that plagued that PlayBook launch.
The intentional delay was meant to ensure that BlackBerry 10 phones would be of top notch quality, according to Heins.
“I think it’s all lining up. Sometimes you get the feeling that the universe is in disarray, and with BlackBerry 10 coming, I see the stars lining up,” Heins added.
Leaked prototypes of the upcoming BlackBerry 10 phones look sleeker and high-end common in today’s smartphone market. Some of the phones have touch-screen version as well as the miniature QWERTY keyboard that helped popularized BlackBerrys.
The new phones also allows multitasking like allowing users to take a look at an incoming email while at the same time browsing the Internet and other applications. These features are currentlt sparsely available to rival phones.
Users can also keep their personal profiles separate from their business profiles, thanks to a feature called BlackBerry Balance. Corporations can easily delete their data share on the device while leaving personal contacts, photos, and email intact.
Heins said that about 100,000 apps, which is way fewer that the current available apps from rivals, will be available during launch. He said that RIM had instead chose to focus on providing needed apps in different regional markets.
While the developer community had been showing much enthusiasm about the launch, financial analysts have mixed views about the reception of the new devices in the very competitive smartphone market.
In the interview, Heins said that workforce morale is excellent despite the recent 5,000 job cuts and continuing dive of the company’s share before BlackBerry 10s release.
RIM had already released the demo phones to carriers and developers. Also, the company’s new BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10, which are used by devices on corporate infrastructure, is currently in beta phase with 20 customers.
RIM has scheduled to give technical previews to its more than top 50 top enterprise customers for its BES 10 and devices.
Heins said that the feedback from its current customer base “is very encouraging”.
Analysts had expected earlier that RIM would decide to launch the new phones in regions where BlackBerry remains popular but Heins refuted it.
“We cannot launch every carrier and every country on the same day, but what we have defined is a set of waves in the various regions,” Heins said. “It is going to be a global launch. There isn’t one preferred region. We are managing and planning it as we speak.”