Over the past few months, media attention has shifted from Apple
) to Research In Motion (NASDAQ:
). The assumption was that RIM could make a comeback and turn
BlackBerry 10 into the next great mobile OS. With RIM shares now
trading down well over 5 percent on Wednesday, it seems obvious
that many traders were not impressed with BB10's debut. Two weeks
outlined the five key features
that BlackBerry 10 needed to accomplish that goal and conquer the
iPhone. They included:
Exclusive and Revolutionary Apps The World's Best Camera Seamless
Controls An Operating System that Changes Everything Genuine
Did RIM -- now
simply known as
) -- fulfill those requirements?
Exclusive and Revolutionary Apps: Missing In Action
), Skype, Twitter and Angry Birds are among the apps BlackBerry
promoted this morning. Unfortunately, hundreds of millions of
consumers already have access to them via iOS, Android, Windows
Phone 8, Mac OS, Windows 8 and a zillion other platforms. Most of
BB10's shiny new apps also appear on the eight-year-old Xbox
Thus, no one -- absolutely no one -- will buy BB10 for new
The World's Best Camera: Consumers Will Decide
) arguably stole the title for
world's best smartphone camera
when it unveiled the PureView, a 41-megapixel camera that allows
users to zoom digitally without reducing the quality of their
If today's presentation is any indication, BlackBerry has not
done anything to top Nokia's efforts. It may have developed some
interesting software to go along with the camera (which allows
users to edit photos and videos on the fly), but the camera itself
seems to be pretty standard.
That said, if the software features -- which include image
overlays to change the appearance of photos and videos -- are
popular with consumers, they may not care if BB10 devices lack the
best camera available.
Seamless Controls: To Be Determined
If anything stood out this morning, it is the way users can
interact with BB10.
Pete Pachal, who spent the last week using BB10, said that the
phone can be a "real joy to use." However, he said that the new
features "amount to learning curve that anyone picking up the Z10
for the first time may not have the patience for."
"In a world where most smartphone sales happen in a store, RIM's
going to need some serious on-the-ground support for this phone for
customers to really see the potential," he wrote. "I can see a lot
of people throwing it down in frustration after the first 30
This is just one man's opinion, however. The BlackBerry Hub --
which the company
as a "single place to manage all your conversations whether
personal or work email, BBM messages, social media updates or
notifications" -- is fairly intriguing. This feature could help
persuade consumers who want something different and/or more
intuitive than Android or iOS.
An Operating System that Changes Everything: Epic Fail
There is no doubt that BlackBerry has put a lot of effort into
the development of BB10. Unfortunately, that effort did not lead to
the evolution of mobile operating systems.
To be fair, mobile phones have not experienced a major shift
since the iPhone debuted in 2007. Android has done some great
things, but iOS got there first. BB10 merely builds on what Apple
created and what Android has refined. It does not, however,
significantly change the world of mobile computing.
Genuine Consumer Appeal: Not Yet
of BB10, Ovum Chief Telecoms Analyst Jan Dawson said that RIM
"continues to face the twin demons of consumer-driven buying power
and a chronic inability to appeal to mature market consumers."
"There is nothing in what we've seen so far of BB10 that
suggests it will conquer the second of these demons, and the first
is utterly out of RIM's control," he added. "We don't expect a
speedy exit from the market; with no debt, 80 million subscribers
and profitability in the black in at least some recent quarters,
the company can continue in this vein for years. But its glory days
are past, and it is only a matter of time before it reaches a
Dawson's comments came before today's event. However, Mashable's
the BlackBerry Z10) agrees that BlackBerry has a tough road
"For iOS and Android owners, BlackBerry 10 is a tough sell," he
concluded. "That's why RIM's battle to reclaim relevance will
likely be fought overseas, where smartphone penetration is
Critical assessments aside, BlackBerry has done absolutely
nothing to genuinely inspire consumers to drop their existing
phones for BB10. Not even a
guy with a ponytail
can change that.
Investors are no more impressed than the critics. Shares of RIM
have plummeted roughly eight percent today, signaling an end to the
tech stock that had become Wall Street's new shining star.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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