Android is up to version 4.2. Microsoft has released Windows Phone 8. And Apple’s latest iPhone is outpacing previous company records. These are among the biggest headlines going into the busy holiday period, a pivotal point in any company’s future. Somewhere in that mix, Research In Motion is trying to convince us that, even though it’s years late to the next generation party, it’s got something that’ll be worth the agonizing wait.
In an interview with The Verge, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins discussed the BlackBerry 10 launch on Jan. 30, along with how the company is approaching the future of the mobile market.
“RIM wants to do more than just survive in the smartphone space,” The Verge said. “Although the company is focused on a smartphone launch that Heins characterized as ‘a decisive point in the future of the company,’ if all goes well the CEO doesn’t want to stop there.”
The biggest and most obvious key to BlackBerry 10’s success is nailing the launch. Falling flat, and failing to impress the BlackBerry faithful could be a fatal blow to the company’s fortunes. “We have this one shot [...] and we want to be right,” Heins said. That means not only introducing good phones, but offering a worthwhile app ecosystem, which is a crucial cog to the smartphone experience.
Beyond that, RIM is setting its sights on “mobile computing,” which is to say the disappearance of the laptop in favor of smartphones and tablets. But simply releasing an upgraded PlayBook doesn’t seem to be in the company’s plans. Instead, Heins has a vision to create a product that differentiates through value-add services “that will ensure that the next product is ‘targeted.’”
The Verge’s full interview is quite interesting, and sheds a lot of light on RIM’s approach to the competition and where it sees itself among the industry’s biggest names. Research In Motion still has an enormous — albeit, shrinking — userbase, which many are presumably awaiting the company’s next big move. BlackBerry 10 is reaching its final stretch before a full consumer release. Will it be enough to make up for lost time?