BlackBerry 10 is the smartphone platform I am most excited about for 2013

BlackBerry 10 is the smartphone platform I am most excited about for 2013

Summary: I never thought I would get pumped to see a new BlackBerry from RIM after they basically took the year off in 2012; but BlackBerry 10 is the mobile OS I look forward to the most at the start of 2013.

BlackBerry 10 is the smartphone platform I am most excited about for 2013

Regular readers know I am a huge Windows Phone fan and many think I write about them too much. It was great to read the news this morning that Nokia's Lumia sales for Q4 2012 were better than expected and it is a small move in the right direction. I hope to see Windows Phone catch on with the consumer at some point, but I am personally most excited to try out the upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS and new devices running BB10.

If you listened to the MobileTechRoundup podcast last year, you likely heard Kevin and me writing off RIM after they skipped doing much in 2012. 

RIM didn't make any major hardware or operating system moves in 2012, but they did make leadership changes and were able to keep things going. 2013 looks to be a defining year for RIM as they get ready to reveal BB 10 to the world at the end of this month.

From the hands-on videos I have seen and articles I have read, BB 10 looks extremely modern and reminds me a bit of the fantastic MeeGo operating system that Nokia prematurely gave up on while also adding in some unique elements we haven't really seen before on other modern smartphone operating systems.

Carriers have always supported RIM and appreciated their data management practices. It seems that Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are on board, along with something like 150+ carriers around the world, which is pretty compelling when you consider it is a brand new operating system.

It seems to me that Windows Phone appears on carriers due to pressure and money from Microsoft and manufacturers, whereas carriers seem to want to sell new BB 10 devices. Customers are familiar with older BlackBerry devices and trust RIM to make rock solid hardware -- so there may be a trust factor there as well.

I recently bought a red Nokia Lumia 920 and am reasonably pleased with the device. I am disappointed that there are still software gaps in Windows Phone 8; and the more I use it, the more I go back to using Android or iOS because of frustrations with everyday usage scenarios that just are not fully satisfying on Windows Phone. Windows Phone 8 appears nearly the same as Windows Phone 7 so it has been around now for over two years.

As a smartphone enthusiast, I like new and shiny things and BlackBerry 10 looks to be the most exciting thing I have seen in a couple years and I can't wait to give the Z10 a try.

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Topics: Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones

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  • Developer support

    They are also throwing a lot of money, at developers, to get games ported to the Playbook and BB10.
    Charles Doty
  • a lot of new OSs are coming out this and next year

    Ubuntu on phones is the one I hope really succeeds. It'll be the first OS that you can really use as a phone, tablet, and desktop, can run full desktop apps as well as mobile apps (assuming they can attract enough devs), and has the benefits that come with the system being open source (more hardware, app store, and OS tweaking options available- in short more can be done with it). and on top of that, from the demos canonical's put out it looks awesome.
    • Thinking

      First of all, I appreciate that you were promoting something without running something else down; you are not wrong for wanting what you want.

      I was thinking about the utility of a desktop os on a phone, albeit from my limited perspective, and I don't see it. The way I figure it, people who need to do desktop things are likely to have a desktop. Those that need access to their desktops can set it up via VPN. Desktops are less expensive than smartphones, because they exclude the telephony and there is no premium charge for smallness hidden in the contract fees. I put that all together and I don't expect that there are a lot of people for whom the desktop os is a differentiator that matters in choosing a smartphone.

      In the phone business, an os vendor looks for a manufacturer who looks for a carrier and all the way up the line the product has to make sense in terms of attracting or retaining carrier customers.

      Not to say that Ubuntu cannot or should not succeed. If it does, I will be quite surprised that it was because of the ability to run desktop apps. Meanwhile, like Microsoft, Canonical has to compete with no-charge Android. And Google pays the carriers for traffic they send Google's way. Unlike iOS, Ubuntu is not an os with significant sibling presence on desktops and have productivity applications that run uniquely on its os.
      • Danny, the future

        ...will see pocket devices with plenty of power to relegate your desktop to a bunch of peripherals. That's the scenario Ubuntu is anticipating. Some folks have tried this approach already, but the pocket power isn't there yet.
  • windows is #4

    Windows 8 was hoping/expecting to solidify itself as the #3 phone OS. A strong showing by RIM woulfd be a major blow to MS attempts to be credible in the mobile market.
    • I think that Windows 8 is a great OS

      ...but not for me. I would absolutely recommend it to a casual smartphone user who would benefit from social networking and email access on their phone, and want an easy-to-use device. The Tiles UI makes it easy to configure for a casual user who isn't necessarily all about the latest fap (fad-app) that they'll use for a week then forget about... but a smartphone that is intuitive and simple. I believe there's a huge market for that, and that Microsoft can absolutely own that space if they want it. And I think that after a while, a lot of Apple and Android users are going to get "fap overload" and just want to use their device for communication and the OCCASIONAL casual game / weather app.

      This race isn't won by Apple, or Android, and certainly isn't lost by Microsoft or RIM.
  • Carriers Cannot Be Trusted...

    To determine a platform viability.
    Their primary focus is to sell phones and plans. Whatever the phone.

    The real questions lie deeper.
    -Is the new BB10 enough to bring back both consumers, corporations and developers?
    -Has the BB reputation and mojo been damaged beyond repair?
    • Carriers Cannot Be Trusted...

      TheCyberKnight is right. All carriers want is more customers/money. Out of all the people I know none know of the new BB phone or completely forgotten about BB.

      It will be tough for BB to make a good impression amoung the average consumer. One thing for sure it will be hard to have Apple users switch over to BB because of all the money they usually spend on the accessories to dress up their phone. Where they probably get more ground are from Android users because face it they are usually the more tech savy. So if they see the BB a better tech device and I mean better/greater not just look different they would probably switch over.

      I only see BB probably gaining ground in Corporations or the goverment branches, not the average consumer.
    • You are outdated.

      The thing is, developers are already flocking back.
      RIM has already confirmed there will be more than 70,000 apps available for BlackBerry 10 at launch. (Keep in mind, that is 70,000+ in one year or less...) There are rumours that RIM is trying to surprise us for launch, and they will really be launching with 122,000 or apps. Its because BB10 is easy to develop for, it has the most choices and is the easiest. (Multiple iOS developer's ported their app's in to BlackBerry 10 in less than one day.)
      RIM is doing everything right for developers, and their application store makes developers the most money compared to iOS and Android.
  • I would prepare to be disappointed

    "I am disappointed that there are still software gaps in Windows Phone 8"

    3rd party apps have traditionally been BlackBerry's weak point. I haven't seen any indication that this is about to change.
    • are you living under a rock?

      RIM has held Jam seesions around the country for the past 8 months bringing in devs. They've got TONS of apps ready to be unveiled at the end of this month, with word of all major apps available. And if you knew anything about the Playbook, they have been getting major games as well- Jetpack Joyride, All Angry Birds, Plats vs Zombies, Dead Space, Cut the Rope, and a LOT more. There is major change coming to Bberry's App world, and devs have already stated BB10 is by far the EASIEST to develop for...being able to port iOS and Android apps over in just one single day. this platform will be a major threat in 2013, bank it. Oh and let's not forget they've already been FIPS 142 certified by the US Gov't- the highest security clearance for any mobile device...and BB10 isn't even out yet!!!
      Kess So Harlem
      • Good news

        I wish the best for RIM, Google, and Microsoft.
      • RIM has been living under a rock on the plus side no burial service needed

        Blackberry began it's long slow death in 2007 when it had the cellphone market cornered and failed to catch on to the touchscreen / full web browser revolution and instead decided to hang on to trackballs and tiny keyboards. Sorry but I don't see how RIM has a chance against the computer giants of Apple, Microsoft, and Google. I mean as much as I like the features, specs, and crappy ported apps of the top phones from 3 years ago I am gonna stick another OS. You would be better off banking on RIM going bankrupt or getting sold in 2013 than it becoming "major threat".
        • Trackballs and tiny keyboards

          The BlackBerry models have not been using the trackballs for sometime now.

          The Z10 is a completely touchscreen device. The X10 will have a keyboard sans trackball.

          To suggest that RIM will go bankrupt in 2013 is buying into all the articles that have ever been written by reporters and analysts that past few years without fully understanding the company.

          QNX is owned by RIM and is the basis of the new BB10 OS. They share a common DNA. QNX is considered the most powerful OS on the market. It is increasingly being used in the auto sector to drive consumer interaction with their vehicles.

          The heart of QNX is what facilitates the user experience on the BB10. The web browser blows the competition away on HTML5 and Facebook ring tests. BB10 - 484 out of 500 the highest. Safari iOS 385.

          The keyboard works by predictive texting and gestures. BB10 environment learns a user's habits from placement of the fingers to language style. e.g. for the stubby finger person that places their finger on the "v" when they meant "b", BB10 will eventually learn what you mean. The device gets to know you, not the other way around.
          Ant World
        • "Hi, I'm Locke7 and I like to post outdated irrelevant opinions"

          and I think that "Growing Pains" is better than "Family Ties", and Crystal Pepsi is better than Tab. And RIM sux, dood.
      • No decent Enterprise Applications for the Playbook yet.

        Got my PB in November of 2011, and it has been a complete disappointment.

        Can not believe that RIM released a tablet device without an e-mail or calendar program. What were they thinking? So with the update that finally had these two curcial programs, the e-mail program was/is still crap. Will not leave copies of messages on any server if they are deleted from the PB...even if that option is checked in the settings. Huh?

        And the porting of Android apps to it. Well...still nothing much useful there. Virtually no major companies/web sites have written ANYTHING for the PB. Glad I only paid $199.00 for this nice looking paperweight.

        Sure hope BB10 has something useful to offer the's going on the shelf next to my copies of MS Bob.
        • Why?

          Can't you get your emails from the website. Anyway, that was resolved long ago.
          Now, we are just waiting for the new upgrade to BB10 and the 70,000+ apps that will follow.
          Susan Antony
        • Playbook

          It is arguable that the Playbook does not have enterprise applications. The Research in Motion BlackBerry solution was chosen as the preferred solution when the UK police in South Wales was looking for a solution. Police vehicles are quickly becoming a mainstay for RIM's Playbooks.

          Apart from the UK, police units in Canada are beginning to look at the BlackBerry solution for their enterprise needs.

          SAP, Cisco System are some of the enterprise applications that have been developed for BB10.

          Do some investigation before passing judgement.
          Ant World
      • Um...who is living under a rock?

        Kess...are you serious? RIM the company on the brink and edge of bankruptcy you think is going to all of a sudden return to dominate a market that is dominated by Apple and Android? Remember Symbian? lol Please. RIM has a LONG way to go. And deservidly so. They lost objectivity and didn't grow at all. "We are fine the way we are...we have enterprise...we have BES server we are invincible". RIM has about 13% marketshare to Google's 49% and Apples 20%...oh and MS? 11%...look it up. RIM used to dominate. In 2009 Sym was at 47%, RIM 20%, APPLE 14 and Android!? 4%...RIM is done...
        Jacques Antoine Jr
        • Financial Stats

          To suggest that RIM is on the edge of bankruptcy is fraught with insinuation without merit. RIM has a strong cash balance of $2.9Billion at the end of Q3, 2013 and zero debt. They had an estimated 79 million subscribers and 6.9 million units shipped in Q3, 2013.

          RIM has been in a maintain and hold for the past year / year and a half to allow for the re-design / re-engineer and re-invention of the new OS. No company out there (even the "can do no wrong" Apple and Google) could perform such an overhaul without severe criticism by people that do not fully understand what is involved to overhaul a system. The overhaul is the result of RIM's acquisition of QNX mid-stream. An Executive decision was made at the time to make QNX the heart of the new OS.

          To assume that the others will follow a straight projectile while RIM will follow a similar fate in the opposite direction is naive thinking.

          It is the very same laurels, attitude and thinking that got RIM into their current uphill fight.

          Let it be said, Apple's reiteration of incremental changes purporting to be "new" is getting even the most avid supporters to declare "it is getting kind of stale".

          Samsung Galaxy can only enlarge their phones so many more inches before it becomes a brick in your pockets causing holes.
          Ant World