At Research In Motion’s (RIM’s) annual developers conference, now called BlackBerry Jam, the company finally unveiled and showed off its latest OS, BlackBerry 10 (BB10). And although many aspects of BB10 had already been leaked, CEO Thorsten Heins says it now has a complete product.
Slash Gear is reporting that RIM will begin carrier testing with BB10 in late October, and that an official launch should be expected for early 2013. Heins also noted in his keynote speech at BlackBerry Jam that carriers are beginning to embrace BB10 with optimism and excitement. Live demos of the new interface displayed BB10’s latest features: Flow and Peek. The two help users break out of today’s one-app-at-a-time smartphone interfaces, and users can also move between and glance at applications other than the front most one on the screen without losing their place. App developers can submit BB10 apps in October and must be available by Jan. 21, 2013. Heins also noted that BlackBerry adoption is still happening faster than overall smartphone growth in many Asian nations, while VP of RIM Developer Relations, Alec Saunders, touted the 105,000 apps now in the BlackBerry World app store. They even cited stats showing that BlackBerry apps make 35 percent more revenue for developers than Android apps. While RIM may be struggling, its ecosystem is still making money.
Yankee Group Senior VP of Research Wally Swain comments
“This presentation went way beyond ‘Not dead yet.’ All developer conference presentations have to rally the troops but this stands out for the enthusiasm of the RIM participants and the freshness of the UI paradigm. This is not a desktop analogy squeezed down into a small screen. We will find out if users like it but it is clearly unique both from previous BB7 look and feel and definitely different from iOS/Android and even WP8.
More importantly, RIM is definitely doing things right to ensure launch success. Nothing is being rushed. Patience is being encouraged but not because things are not being delivered but because the company is dotting its i’s and crossing its t’s. Developers have visibility to feature roadmaps and projected release dates. Devices are going to operator labs next month. App developers have deadlines for app submissions and publishing. It’s all real.
Finally, the company understands that unique app store content will be critical to the devices’ success. By rewarding developers who use unique BB10 features, RIM will have content to show off at launch that integrates with the hardware to create the specific customer experiences that we think are critical to standing out from the rest of the smartphone pack.”
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