Blackberry to launch new platform next year

Posted at 10/14/12 4:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Research in Motion (RIM), the firm behind Blackberry smartphones, is aiming to continue to grow its business in the Asia Pacific region, including the Philippines, and to win back customers in North America with the launch of the new platform, the Blackberry 10.

RIM chief executive officer Thorsten Heins said in a press briefing Friday night that while the company has seen growth in its business with additional subscribers in the Asia Pacific region including the Philippines, it has been losing market share in North American because it lacks the LTE (long term evolution) product and top of the art, full touch device that consumers demand.

“Blackberry 10 in the first quarter (next year) is going to change this dramatically. We want to continue growing in Asia Pacific and we want to win back market share in the US,” he said.

He noted that the big driver for the popularity of the Blackberry line in the Asia Pacific as well as in South Africa and Latin America is the Blackberry Messenger service which is widely used.

In the US, however, interest in Blackberry smartphones has waned.

RIM intends to recapture the market with the Blackberry 10 which will be ready for the next big wave, mobile computing.

“We are introducing a whole new platform with Blackberry 10. Why did we do this? Why didn’t we go Android or anything else like Windows 8 or any other open platform that is out there? We want to serve our Blackberry users and customers best, and the way to do this is to keep the DNA of Blackberry alive,” Heins said.

The new products, he said, would have the processing power of a laptop which can run on dual or quad core processor and have high resolution displays.

RIM chief marketing officer Frank Boulben said the Blackberry 10 would have a competitive browser and an easy-to-use all-touch keyboard or physical keyboard.

One of the special features of the Blackberry 10 is it allows users to go from one application to another seamlessly by sliding a finger on one side of the screen, unlike existing smartphones where you have to go in and out of each application.

The new product also makes typing easier because it adapts to the way a user constructs sentences unlike other devices which have a predictive text system.

Boulben said the Blackberry 10 has been designed for multitaskers and hyperconnected users who want to be productive in using their devices.

He said the firm is upbeat with the upcoming launch of the product as it has received positive feedback from carriers, including those in the Philippines.

“We’ve met about 40 carriers and in every country, every carrier we’ve met, we’ve seen fantastic reception for Blackberry 10,” he said.

Heins said the firm intends to aggressively promote the new product in all regions.

“What we are trying to do...we are going to create first wave that creates huge momentum across the globe for Blackberry 10,” he said.

The Blackberry 10 is eyed for launched in the first quarter of 2013.