RIM to launch new platform, devices on Jan. 30
Published Monday, November 12, 2012 7:31AM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 12, 2012 10:24PM EST
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion says it will launch its much anticipated new operating system and two new smartphones on January 30, 2013.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based company said Monday that the new platform, BlackBerry 10, will be released in several countries simultaneously and details about the new smartphones will be revealed during the event.
RIM President and CEO Thorsten Heins said BlackBerry 10 is unlike any other smartphone currently on the market.
"Our team has been working tirelessly to bring our customers innovative features combined with a best in class browser, a rich application ecosystem, and cutting-edge multimedia capabilities," Heins said in a statement released Monday.
"All of this will be integrated into a user experience -- the BlackBerry Flow -- that is unlike any smartphone on the market today," he said.
BlackBerry 10 secured the crucial Federal Information Processing Standard earlier this month, which enables government agencies to deploy the new devices.
“This marks the first time BlackBerry products have been certified ahead of their launch,” said the company in a statement.
Some BlackBerry 10 key features already unveiled include a keyboard that learns and adapts to how users write and BlackBerry Balance, which keeps personal information and apps separate from work data.
According to RIM, BlackBerry 10 smartphones are being tested by more than 50 carriers, with more testing expected in the coming weeks.
“We are looking forward to getting BlackBerry 10 in the hands of our customers around the world,” said Heins.
It remains to be seen if customers will purchase the new BlackBerry.
“I think there’s a lot of hope they come up with something strong. So I see a lot of ‘Gee, I’m looking forward to this’ … but there is puzzlement. People aren’t sure what it is yet,” Prof. Alan Middleton of the Schulich School of Business told CTV News.
Analyst Bill Kreher agreed, and said that in the end it all boils down to consumer preference.
“When consumers see this product that’s going to be the moment of truth and will it be perceived well,” he said.
RIM has lost valuable market share to competitor phones like Apple’s iPhone and smartphones running Google’s Android operating system.
The company has fallen so far behind that technology, analyst Kris Abel said he now meets many BlackBerry users who seem embarrassed by their device.
“When I encounter people with a BlackBerry … or when they pull out their phones, they do apologize … ‘I know, it’s a BlackBerry. It’s not cool like an iPhone.’ I hear that a lot,” he said.
Some smartphone users told CTV News that they switched phones long ago and have no interest in switching back.
“Not at all, no … I’m sticking with Apple,” said one Toronto man.
With a report from CTV’s John Vennavally-Rao