Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins took the stage at a BlackBerry Jam press conference today to discuss his firm’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system and the future of RIM as a whole. There was good news: we heard about new features including BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Frames, and we also learned that RIM added 2 million subscribers since the fiscal second quarter of 2012. At least one analyst argued that RIM would not report any growth.
Thorsten Heins has high hopes for BlackBerry 10 and believes that, despite a crowded mobile operating system market that’s flooded with Android, iOS and, soon, Windows Phone 8 devices, BlackBerry 10 has a chance at becoming the third largest mobile operating system.
“We have a clear shot at being the no. 3 platform in the market,” Heins said today. “Carriers want other platforms. And we’re not just another open platform running on another system. We’re BlackBerry.” Heins said that carriers are already warming up to the platform and are excited for its launch. Unfortunately, it’s going to take more than that.
I’d argue, and I have argued, that RIM has a diminishing brand value in the eyes of consumers. Nearly everyone I know who has had a BlackBerry has moved on and hasn’t looked back. How will RIM, and Heins, bring those consumers back? A first quarter launch is dangerous, too. RIM will miss the holiday season and the potential to get devices on holiday shopping lists.
Will RIM survive and will BlackBerry 10 prevail? Time will tell.