The statement issued by CEO Thorsten Heins says that Lab Entry is “a key step in our preparedness for the launch of BlackBerry 10 in the first quarter of 2013.” He also adds that carriers’ response has been tremendous: “they are excited about the prospect of launching BlackBerry 10 in their markets.” The complete press release can be read from the RIM newsroom.
RIM’s shares have dropped since Jefferies & Co. forecasted that the company will probably miss releasing the BB10 during the fiscal fourth quarter; analyst Peter Misek projects a tough November quarter and a March release to be more likely. RIM has been counting on BB10 sales to revive sales growth as Apple Inc’s iPhone and Android mobile devices monopolize market shares.
There are also threats to consider from Windows 8 devices, especially as Nokia revs up for a highly-anticipated Nokia Lumia 920 release. Bloomberg Business week reports that RIM fell to $7.80, dropping 5.3 percent at the close in New York, the biggest decline since Sept. 21. Shares have dropped to a total 46 percent this year.
With Heins’ announcement, RIM stocks have rallied 14 percent in the past two days, as pronounced in a November 1 report on Forbes. Shares are up 9 percent (71 cents) to $8.64. Even then, Misek remains unimpressed with the current numbers, noting that lab testing usually takes 3-6 months, which still points to a March release for the first BB10 devices. He also maintains that outside vendors are unlikely to license or acquire the OS before the March launch.
What to expect from BB10
During MobileCon 2012, RIM Chief Information Officer Robin Bienfait reiterated that BB10 will provide the “power of a laptop in a mobile device.” He also calls it the “mobile computing platform of the future.” He says that BB10 is geared towards hyper-connected users who spend 40 percent of their time multi-tasking. Demoed on Dev Alpha B hardware are these features, which will be exciting for those looking for business phone alternatives:
Predictive-text messaging - Jeff Gadway, senior brand and marketing communications manager at RIM, pronounces that this is “the best typing experience on glass, period.” TechCruch reports that the new keypad should be responsive to taps that occur in overlap and in rapid succession. Aside from offering next-word suggestions, the keypad also learns, identifies, and adjusts to common mistypes.
Flow experience – gain a more fluid user experience as you “flow” between app and homescreen, between menus and options, and even within apps. Flow movements let you swipe to peek at or completely go back to your other open apps, swipe down to flow to the app settings, and tap and hold to view app descriptions.
Blackberry Balance – keep work and personal life separate with an on-off locking feature. Simply push a button to switch between personal and work apps.
RIM shares are down around 95 per cent from their peak performance in 2008. With RIM showing that it is delivering on its promises, other analysts are more positive about the company’s prospects.
Henry Conrad is a 29-year-old game developer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Aside from gaming and being a tech junky, he also dabbles in creative writing, which allows him to create great storylines and backgrounds for his characters. Follow me on Twitter and join me in Google +