BlackBerry 10 Dubai launch: Will RIM’s first real innovation in 10 years be its last?

Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins displays features of the Blackberry 10 during the Blackberry Jam Americas in San Jose, California in this file photo taken September 25, 2012. Research In Motion has a gathered a number music and video partners for its BlackBerry 10 storefront, ranging from Walt Disney Co's Walt Disney Studios and Sony Corp's Sony Pictures to Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. (REUTERS)

Research In Motion (RIM), the Canadian smartphones manufacturer had its first light bulb moment in 2003.

That’s when it took the world by storm when by unveiling the first BlackBerry device with on-the-go email accessibility as well as the famous BBM messaging system that has kept many a user loyal to it even today.

However, it’s been 10 agonising years since then, and it won’t be totally incorrect to say that RIM has failed to keep up with the rivals such as Apple and Samsung that mushroomed up later in the smartphone domain but have since overtaken it by miles and relegated RIM to an also-ran status.

Today, on January 30, 2013, RIM is hoping to have its second light bulb moment with the launch of two BlackBerry 10 devices, arguably the best thing to happen to BlackBerry since BlackBerry.

RIM and analysts that have managed to lay their hands on the beta device have suggested that it is definitely something worth looking forward to.

In RIM’s own words (borrowed from a press release), “In building BlackBerry 10, we set out to create a truly unique mobile computing experience that constantly adapts to your needs.”

Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of Research In Motion, said: “Our team has been working tirelessly to bring our customers innovative features combined with a best in class browser, a rich application ecosystem, and cutting-edge multimedia capabilities. All of this will be integrated into a user experience – the BlackBerry Flow – that is unlike any smartphone on the market today.”

In a few hours’ time tonight, we’ll all know how different it is from anything that we’ve seen thus far, and if that difference makes up for the past 10 years of sluggish growth.

“Thanks to our strong partnerships with global carriers and a growing ecosystem of developers, we believe our customers will have the best experience possible with BlackBerry 10. We are looking forward to getting BlackBerry 10 in the hands of our customers around the world,” Heins said late last year.

Indeed, millions of BlackBerry loyalists are eager to lay their hands on the devices – and by the looks of the leaks and the hype, BlackBerry Z10 is set to be an instant hit.

Even so, the big question remains whether RIM will, once again, sit on a great device for so long that rivals will churn out better and better competitors until its phone becomes obsolete, or will it now innovate on a regular basis to keep up with the competition?

For, even though RIM has been lucky to have survived the past 10 years of not reinventing itself from scratch even once, in today’s cut-throat competitive mobile domain, it won’t last the next 10 without a real reboot at least once every year.

For now, however, let’s raise a toast to the upcoming BlackBerry 10 – and the next 10 years of many more light bulb moments.


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