Looking back on a year of development delays and launch postponements, what does the official BlackBerry 10 release date mean to you?
For Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft, product and software announcements are as exciting as a wedding reception. For RIM however, January 30th might as well be judgment day. Makers of the original smartphone for businesspeople have one last chance to prove to the world that their technology still matters. In a world where there exists a smartphone for everyone in the iPhone, there are only so many ways to skin the cat. With Windows Phone 8, Microsoft claims it has created not a phone for all of us, but one for each of us. How will BlackBerry 10 differentiate?
BB10 – Mobility Needs Trump Design
CEO Thorsten Heins shed a bit of light on how his platform will not only impress, but thrive, in a recent interview with the New York Times. To Heins, things can’t get much worse from here. BB10 won’t be different in size, shape, or design than your average device on the market. It won’t have a home button. It has a light bulb that blinks when messages come in. If you haven’t caught on, RIM has made no aesthetical improvements. That wasn’t their problem. Where they failed was to catch up to the needs of their valued mobile workers.
With BlackBerry 10, RIM brings an all-in-one view that consumers have yearned for to accomplish more on the go. Sure, the iPhone’s home button makes it easy to flip between apps with a press and flick of the finger. It even keeps them running for us in the background… but that’s where it stops. Now users will be able to review recent messages and relevant updates while browsing through contacts. It will empower you to "peak at" and conduct your email and social media communications all in one place, seamlessly marrying proactivity with reactivity.
BYOD Boom or Bust?
Will this be enough to launch RIM back to its glory days, sitting atop the mobile world as the kings of convenience? Not likely. There are however factors beyond RIM’s control that could work in their favor. At present, more than half of organizations allow their employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) to work. The question is, will BYODers continue their incline, crowding out those with corporate-issued devices? Or will IT start to crack down, forcing personal iPhones, iPads, Androids, and Windows smartphones and tablets out enterprise doors?
Frank Boulben, Chief Marketing Officer at RIM is betting on the latter; that IT will regain their lofty status bequeathing all technology versus accepting whichever BYOD device arrives at their desk. Boulben’s presumption aligns with recent research by Nucleus, which states BYOD’s downfall will occur in direct alignment with the rise of enterprise mobility due to support costs, compliance risks, usage reimbursement, and a lack of ROI. Bear in mind that Nucleus stands a lone wolf outside a pack of others predicting a strong future for BYOD—Gartner stating it will be the top trend heading into the next year, while Forrester believes tablets adoption will be through the roof compared to what we're seeing today.
Intel Benefits from IT Consumerization
Enough about what people are saying, just take a look at what they're doing. Companies like Intel are making BYOD look easy. In their mid-year IT Performance Report, they proudly boast about its benefits—nothing about its alleged faults. Year to date, the chip giant has reaped an extra 2 million hours of productivity from employees working on their devices of choice. It would seem a vision and a clear cut process is the best way to make it happen. That, and the right technology. The Nucleus report misses on one critical element: how companies bleeding BYOD revenue can institute management safeguards such as mobile device management (MDM) and mobile expense management (MEM) to up productivity and reduce mobile expenses.
It cannot be denied, however, that a BYOD decline would work in RIM’s favor. The company did after all find its original success on the whims of many an IT manager with a budget for BlackBerrys & BES server. Only time will tell how it all plays out. 75 days to be exact. Do you believe RIM’s changes will be enough for its much needed bounce back? Will BYOD decline in their favor? Discuss in the comments below.