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21 April 2024

Can BB10 kill iPhone 5? RIM's new BlackBerry phones to hit UAE in February

By Joseph George

The countdown for the most awaited launch of the BlackBerry phone series has begun. It is less than a month away for the BB10 to be launched (January 30), and this time Research in Motion (RIM) is working hard to ensure that there are no more delays in releasing the new phone into the market.

RIM is expected to launch BB10 with two new models including the the full touch Z10, previously known as the L series and similar to the BB10 Dev Alpha B, that have been distributed to developers across the world.

According to sources within the industry, the new models could be available in major markets including the UAE as early as February. RIM will be keen this time around not to repeat the mistake of announcing a phone and releasing it several months later. Especially crucial for the company will be to make the available in some of the key markets.

Unlike Apple, which makes its new phones available across the Asian market (including the Gulf and the Middle East) almost several months after the initial launch, RIM is planning to bring the phones into these key markets along with anywhere else in the US and Europe.

What’s more, Dubai would be one of the six destinations where the BlackBerry 10 launch event is being planned.

“In June 2012, we brought the region’s first ever BlackBerry 10 Developer Jam to Dubai. On January 30, we will bring another landmark event to the UAE with the BlackBerry 10 launch which will first happen in Dubai and simultaneously across six cities,” said Sandeep Saihgal, Managing Director, RIM – Middle East.

There have been several image leaks of the expected design and the initial reaction has been encouraging.

Recently more images of the X10 (the N Series) emerged. The model with qwerty keyboard is expected to be released into the market a few months later.

According to RIM, the BlackBerry 10 platform has recently achieved FIPS 140-2 certification, which means that government agencies will be able to deploy BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 as soon as it is available.

This marks the first time BlackBerry products have been certified ahead of their launch. In addition, RIM recently announced that BlackBerry 10 smartphones have now entered more than 50 carrier labs with many more entries expected in the coming weeks.

What’s more RIM has already assigned about thousands of developers to develop new apps for BB10, including many in the Arab world.

As Saihgal pointed out, “Through our success in the region, we understand what our customers need for a complete BlackBerry experience and that is why our developer partners are focused on creating a strong pipeline of Arabic and English apps which will resonate well with customers in the region.”

Despite still competition from Apple’s new iPhone, a series of Android phones and the HTC and Nokisá Windows 8 devices, Blackberry models continue to remain popular among several sections within the UAE.

It is not just the UAE, Blackberry which ones were the top priority among businessmen and executives across the US and major business capitals have managed to retain the top spot in several South East Asian markets.

In Indonesia for example RIM’s market share is roughly about 50 per cent of the total number of phones sold and holds the number one spot for the past two years.

The BlackBerry also ranks as the No. 2 smartphone in the Philippines, and the No. 3 smartphone in Thailand and Malaysia.

Will RIM be able to regain its past glory across other key markets with the launch of BB10 the answer is less than a month away.