RIM plans new device roadshow: Will it revive BlackBerry?

Summary:RIM is planning to show off BlackBerry 10 devices to telecom execs and developers as it tries to stoke demand for a new smartphone lineup that will make or break the company.

Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins said the company is planning to take its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones on a roadshow to woo carriers, developers and ultimately consumers.

In two separate interviews with CNET News' Roger Cheng and ZDNet, Heins outlined RIM's product cadence, roughly six new devices and smartphones that look and feel better than previous efforts.

RIM has two devices that will launch almost in tandem---a touchscreen only device similar to a test device unveiled in May as well as QWERTY version similar to the Bold. Heins said the hardware is largely complete, but the software "needs polishing." The phones are roughly 80 percent to 90 percent complete.

Credit: Brian Bennett, CNET

Telecom execs as well as developers will start to see the devices in September. The response to RIM's roadshow will be critical to the company's future. In RIM's most recent quarter, the company delivered a net loss and said that BlackBerry 10 devices would slip to the beginning of 2013. 

Heins outlined a tag team BlackBerry approach for various markets. For instance, RIM will start with two high end devices---touch and QWERTY. The mid-tier market will also get a team of touch and QWERTY BlackBerries. And then RIM will court first time smartphone users and emerging markets.

"These BlackBerry devices will appeal to both corporate and consumer users," said Heins. When asked about RIM's product cadence going forward, Heins said RIM would target a release schedule "meaningful to carriers." "My gut says launches every 12 to 15 months," he said.

According to Heins, RIM's secret sauce for the new devices will revolve around using one device that can keep a user's personas---corporate and consumer---separated.

Topics: Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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