But will there be apps to share?
RIM has been the subject of an all-out media assault this month. So far, their marketing has received a lot of the headlines, and especially the most positive.
One of the biggest questions is about apps: will there be enough?
Ahead of the BlackBerry 10 launch, RIM spoke this week about showcasing BlackBerry World, its renewed app store. “Amazing App Sharing” says the media note. I’ve never put app sharing at the top of my list of must-haves. Maybe I’m the odd one out. But what I’ll really be looking for when launching BB 10 is the depth and quality of the apps. If RIM can win over enough developers – and that’s a monumental task with most of the investment and energy in the development world focused on iOS and Android – then it has a chance of becoming a strong number mobile platform. three (in North America).
I was disappointed to find that RIM re-hashed an old video (from September 2012) to tout BlackBerry World functionality. Why not update this and give the world something fresh and compelling? Instead, we see a vague and bland overview of the service that would have been adequate last year when BB 10 was still a few quarters away from release, but looks tired at this point:
I checked the BlackBerry channel on YouTube. With over 50 million views, it has healthy traffic. Obviously, people are still interested in RIM, and many are up for a comeback.
Microsoft is learning a hard lesson in real life with Windows 8. Applications matter. Whether we like it or not, if consumers can’t do what they want with their smartphones – find a place to eat on Yelp, check in on Foursquare, share photos through Instagram – then it’s hard to create one. momentum.
Here’s my take on RIM and BlackBerry 10: I think it’s going to be a niche game. BlackBerry still has a die-hard following, many who adore its physical keyboard and messaging services. Going back to business (BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10), focusing on security and messaging could be a smart move. Revitalizing RIM’s mainstream business will be much more difficult. What feature or differentiator will BB 10 bring to combat Android devices and iPhones? Nothing comes to mind, be it the variety of prices, the depth of applications or the richness of the ecosystem.
I fondly remember my BlackBerry 8700. A chiclet keyboard, scroll wheel, and fast performance made for an incredibly good smartphone at the time. And ahead of its time. Now that I have all the apps I want on my Nexus 4, it’s hard to imagine what RIM could possibly offer to remotely entertain a Switch.