Research in Motion unveiled its next-generation BlackBerry operating system during its BlackBerry World event in Orlando, Florida, earlier this week. And if you’re a BlackBerry fan, it was a rather bittersweet event. BlackBerry 10 looks like it’s going to be a very promising release — even to an iOS user like me — but it’s still not ready.
RIM’s “BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha Testing Device” doesn’t even run BB10; instead it’s powered by a watered-down version of the BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 operating system. Real BB10 devices won’t be available to consumers until this October — that’s a lengthy five-month wait.
That’s plenty of time for RIM’s competitors to launch their next-generation devices and tempt BlackBerry fans away from the Canadian company’s platform. The HTC One X has now been available for weeks, we’ve just seen Samsung’s impressive Galaxy S III, and it’s possible that we’ll even see a sixth-generation iPhone by the time RIM pulls BB10 out of the bag.
That’s just three reasons why smartphone users may turn their backs on RIM between now and October, and there will be plenty more throughout the year. Unfortunately for RIM, its investors realize this, and its stock price has just hit an eight-year low.
Stock hit a high of $14.46 on the Toronto Stock Exchange shortly before RIM’s BB10 announcement. But just days after it, that price has fallen to $11.91 a share, and it shows no signs of stopping.
It’s disappointing news for a company whose stock price was just beginning to increase after a worrying low spell. Of course, BB10 could turn everything around when it finally makes its debut this fall, but RIM really needs to ensure the update is the best it can be. It can’t afford to launch another disappointing product.
Do you think BB10 will be the turning point for RIM? Or is it too little too late?
[via The Verge]