New BlackBerry 10 developer smartphones set for May debut

New BlackBerry 10 developer smartphones set for May debut

Summary: Research in Motion is set to debut BlackBerry 10 running smartphones at its upcoming May conference, in a move the company hopes could bring back the brand from the brink.

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Research in Motion, the BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook tablet maker, is reportedly set to deliver a new smartphone for developers in time for its BlackBerry Jam developer conference in early May.

The conference in Orlando, Florida brings BlackBerry developers around the world together for three days, but interest has been tepid since Research in Motion's troubles began to spiral in 2011 and continued through this year.

Bloomberg cited Alex Saunders, RIM's vice-president for developer relations, in a telephone interview as saying the company will issue as many as 2,000 devices to developers, running the next-generation QNX-based BlackBerry 10 operating system.

He said the design of the test model, the screen's look, and navigation will not be "in any way indicative" of the end version, in a bid to drum up consumer support and generate interest.

Currently used in the BlackBerry PlayBook, the QNX-based operating system will be ported to BlackBerry smartphones in time for the holiday season, after a series of delays held back the schedule. But there are only 10,000 apps for the PlayBook, which may seem like a lot, but is disappointing in terms of rival application stores.

It is hoped the issuing of new BlackBerry 10 phones to developers could spur on growth to the BlackBerry App World, and inject a smidgen of life into the dying brand.

The company needs to find something to reinvigorate its sales, profits and share price, and it is hoped that new devices and a new operating system could bring back the BlackBerry brand from near-death.

BlackBerry 10 started out as "BBX", but was forced by a lawsuit in 2011 --- only days before its announcement --- to change its name to "BlackBerry 10" as the trademark was already in use. Users disrupted by the global data outage, which left BlackBerry customers with nothing more than an expensive brick for four days, pushed even more customers towards the iPhone.

Research in Motion is faring so badly that it has just been overtaken by the iPhone on its home turf in Canada, as even the most patriotic and loyal customers are turning away.

The NASDAQ-listed company is trading at $13.66 a share, down from $56 a share a year ago.

Image source: Jacqueline Seng/CNET Asia. Article source: Bloomberg.

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Topics: BlackBerry, Hardware, Laptops, Mobile OS, Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

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9 comments
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  • It's the size that counts.

    Apparently, the form factor of the "Alpha devices" will be the same as the new BB10 phones when they arrive, so it will be a small glimpse of what can be expected. I'll be paying close attention.
    xenrobia
  • Too late

    BBX/Blackberry 10 is too late and long irrelevant.

    Dump the HW and OS business and spend all efforts on developing the BES Server infrastructure and delivering cross platform BES Client Apps for IOS, Android and WP7 before it is too late. Good and other soulution providers are already chasing you down with BYOD secure (corporate) messaging eco-systems.
    neil.postlethwaite
  • Why always so Negative?

    Every post from you about BlackBerry highlights the negatives and never the positives.

    You do understand that RIM has no debt and is very profitable, right? They are increasing their subscriber base every month and still do MANY things much better than the competition.

    You also fail to mention that BlackBerry App World is not the only place you can get apps for BlackBerry. There are multiple App Stores, which shows the flexibility of the platform. The ecosystem is broad, varied and quite profitable for a lot of developers.
    John Hanks
    • Errrr....

      RIM may be increasing their subscriber base but nothing compared to the iPhone or Androids.
      Gisabun
    • Because Negative is what all the others are doing.

      Let's face one undeniable truth: technology journalists are not renowned for their analytical skills, or independent thought. It is much easier and safer for them to parrot what most of their colleagues are saying and fitting into the crowd. Remember all those Economists prior to the meltdown of 2008, telling everyone how strong the economy was? Pretty much the same herd mentality that now infects the brains of a good many tech journalists.

      The truly sad part of it all, is that RIM is attempting to give consumers a real choice and all these tech journalists would seem to be opposed to consumers having that choice. RIM could easily have built new hardware, crammed Android OS on to it and shoved it out the door, like so many of it's competitors. But RIM is attempting to deliver a whole new operating system, a very, very good operating system combined with very, very good hardware; you know , something that is actually different from the status quo. Whenever I read some ill conceived opinion that RIM has to differentiate their products from the others, I can't help but think: well, if creating an entirely new OS doesn't differentiate their product, then nothing will short of drilling holes in peoples heads and placing the hardware directly inside. I also believe that anybody who would make such an inane comment has already had their head pre-drilled (probably numerous times).

      Finding a "Technology Journalist" with imagination, foresight and a backbone, is indeed a very difficult thing and "if" you do find one, you should reward and encourage their writings as much as possible. The sad truth is that big advertising money purchases more then just advertising space in the print media (both paper and electronic) these days and I follow ZdNet because they seem to have been able to maintain their objectivity to a large degree. If the tone and rhetoric of their articles starts to take on a decidedly pro, or anti platform bias, then I guess I'll be exercising one my choices.
      xenrobia
  • A possible error in the story

    A friend of mine works for RIM and he said only models that come out on or after the release of BB10 will get the BB10 OS. So if you are holding a Blsackberry in your hand now, there will [at this time] be no upgrade to the BB10 OS.
    Big mistake for RIM.
    Gisabun
  • BlackBerry Will not come back

    Now its too late. Every one its almost impossible to comeback for Blackberry in market.They are outflowed by android and Iphone.

    http://androidtrainningcenter.blogspot.in/
    AndroidTrainner
  • Simple

    Android is too fragmented and not as powerful as a BlackBerry with BES, probably never will be. I tried and tried and tried for weeks to make Android work as well.

    Same goes for iOS, too controlled and limited, designed for simple minded people.
    John Hanks
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    Contact: TheFashionAndITAmerica@yahoo.com
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