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Blackberry Cellphones Operating Systems

BlackBerry 10 Review: Good, But Too Late? 184

An anonymous reader writes "Ars has an extensive review of the newly-released BlackBerry 10 operating system. Since it's such a late entry into the market, the tech community has been eyeballing the new operating system with trepidation — would all that time go to waste with a poor offering, or would BlackBerry 10 be a reasonable alternative to iOS and Android? Well, it seems BlackBerry (the company formerly known as RIM) actually put the time to good use. The review finds most of the UI innovations to actually be.. innovative. "BlackBerry took a lot of time to see what the competition is doing, and then it worked to refine its operating system. It essentially had an excellent cheat sheet, filled with everything that has worked wonderfully and all the things that have bombed. That said, BlackBerry still has to mold its product for its two huge core audiences: the business-oriented multi-tasker and the developing smartphone markets. To that end, it has included all of the essential features and apps to appeal to both of those parties. The corporate user has his or her share of content to watch on the train ride to work, games and apps to help keep busy when not entrenched in a meeting, and the perfect Hub for messaging (not to mention the literal split between work and personal environments)." However, the review also notes that the system is not really designed to make people drop their Android or iOS devices, so uptake is going to be slow at best. The question for the platform's success (and the company's) is no longer 'Is it any good? but 'Is it too late?'" There's also a review of the z10 smartphone itself.
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BlackBerry 10 Review: Good, But Too Late?

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  • by Qwavel ( 733416 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @07:21PM (#42815009)

    BB appears to think is is an OS company. It even seems to be describing a backup plan that involves selling BB10 into embedded markets.

    Surely, this is a mistake. They have/had great smartphone features, particularly around messaging, and they have server software running in most corporations around the world. But they have let these advantages slip away as they pursued the perfect OS.

    Instead, they could have done as Amazon did, and skin Android to their liking. This would have got them to market at least a year sooner with a product that could easily still have been uniquely BB on the surface - and the surface is the only thing the smartphone user sees.

  • by kae77 ( 1006997 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @07:32PM (#42815089)

    What you're describing is a chicken and an egg problem.

    "They have/had great smartphone features, particularly around messaging, and they have server software running in most corporations around the world." -- They had to build an OS from the ground up BECAUSE they value these things. Android is great for what it does, but security is not one of it's strong points. Blackberry's name is built on security for those messages.

    You can't just throw that out and still have a Blackberry. If they were shooting for another consumer reskin, then they could have waded into the bloody waters of the Android market and sold themselves to the highest bidder. Instead they took the hard road, bought a rock solid kernel and built a new OS from the ground up with messaging, security and the future in mind.

    iOS and Android are great, but they're starting to get long in the tooth. They ride the cutting edge, but eventually that will show it's age. Blackberry started over the beginning to build an OS for the next 10 years. If they can launch Mobile Computing, it's a bright future.

    That, however, is a BIG if.

  • by Brett Chandler ( 2834879 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @08:58PM (#42815917)
    It may well be that no matter how good BB10 really is, it just might be too late to save BlackBerry. Or maybe it will turn out to be so spectacularly good that all other platforms will be abandoned. The thing is, we have no idea what BB10's impact will be on BlackBerry until it's been out in the market for a while. It isn't up to writers to determine BB's future, it's the paying customers who have the most say. Here's the case for BB's survival: 1) Smartphone market penetration isn't 100%, not even in the US--every month there are new users entering the smartphone market 2) Not all smartphone users even care about apps; in fact, I've come across a number of people who seem to be almost "anti-app"; these users won't be so invested in either iOS or Android that migrating to a different platform will pose much hardship 3) Many seasoned smartphone veterans have come to HATE the iOS keyboard, and I can tell you anyone who sees the BB10 walks away impressed (in fairness, there ARE good alternative keyboards for Android, but even there BB10 enjoys an edge) Finally, BB10 seems to have had more thought given to actual, day-to-day usability. That isn't sexy, and it isn't easy to demonstrate in 3 minutes in a phone shop. What I think it stands a chance of doing, though, is building a base of committed customers who will spread legitimate word of mouth.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal