Early next year, RIM will officially launch BB10 and help catapult Blackberry devices into a fresh and new future. There has been quite a bit of hype and positive talk surrounding the upcoming release, and RIM’s stock prices have went up recently as a direct result.
Things might be rough right now, but the future is at least starting to look at least a little bit brighter for RIM and the Blackberry brand. Not everyone feels this way though.
Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley says that he firmly believes BB10 will not return RIM to sustained profitability.
“Our checks do not indicate the consumer pull, carrier push or developer excitement necessary for BlackBerry 10 to reverse the challenging trends faced by RIM,” he argues. Keep in mind that Blackberry 10 hasn’t been publicly demonstrated yet and few everyday consumers probably even know of its existence yet so it’s hard to say what “checks” they went through to figure out that there isn’t going to be excitement for BB10 once it is officially announced.
That said, most analysts seem to be a bit more optimistic, even if cautiously so. Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski says there is about a 30% chance of Blackberry 10 will be a true success. 30 percent isn’t that high, but at least is a more positive outlook than Canaccord Genuity and T. Michael Walkley are suggesting.
Blackberry 10 – Will it Succeed?
So is there any chance that Walkley is correct? And if it flops, is RIM pretty much done for? Honestly, it’s hard to say for sure, though we doubt it will be flat out failure like Walkley seems to suggest.
RIM still has plenty of Blackberry fans across the globe that will gladly make the switch to BB10. Even if Blackberry devices aren’t as popular in the United States, there are many other markets where RIM is still very popular, such as in parts of Africa and Asia.
It’s also worth mentioning that for those that like the idea of a physical keyboard, there are still few devices that manage to compete with the Blackberry’s keyboard design.
The hard work ahead of RIM will be convincing developers to fully support the new platform. The key for RIM will likely be to focus on quality, not quantity. You don’t need to have 700,000+ apps to be a success, you just need to have the apps that your target audience wants and needs.
To be honest, Blackberry handsets are seem to be niche devices, at least in my personal opinion. They have a clear business/productivity focus and aren’t exactly a mainstream “be all, do all” device in the way that some of its competition is— personally I consider that a compliment in many ways. You don’t have to be mainstream to be a success. Blackberry has always been a great platform for those that like multi-tasking and productivit,y first and foremost, and BB10 will likely continue that trend.
RIM’s operating system might have fallen behind the times in certain ways, but they aren’t completely out for the count just yet.
Competition is hot with the emergence of Windows Phone 8 and the current strong positions that Android and iOS enjoy, but it is really way to early to judge BB10 for sure. Blackberry 10 seems like an interesting OS, though it still remains unseen whether it has the power to return RIM to profitability or not.
What do you think of RIM’s Blackberry 10 are you excited or do you think it is a case of too little, too late?