Carriers interested in BlackBerry 10; will developers and consumers bite?

Carriers interested in BlackBerry 10; will developers and consumers bite?

Summary: Carriers are eager to see a challenge to the growing dominance of iOS and Android, but success or failure will, according to one analyst, come down to developers and customers.

SHARE:
35

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion RIM will this week reveal its earnings for the fiscal third quarter, and while expectations are subdued, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon - the form of the new BlackBerry 10 platform. Can a revamped platform help turn the company around?

According to Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, optimism connected to BlackBerry 10 has been has been growing in recent weeks, and this has helped shares more than double from their 52-week low.

Driving this optimism are the cellphone carriers, who, according to Wu, are becoming "increasingly leery of the growing dominance of iOS and Android and have been looking for a viable third or potentially fourth platform." That platform, the carriers hope, could be either BlackBerry 10 and/or Windows 8. With that in mind, they are hedging their bets by giving BlackBerry 10 some moral support.

But serious questions remain, not just about that BlackBerry 10 will offer users, but whether there's a space in the market for BlackBerry. Wu questions whether there's a need for a third or fourth mobile operating system touch-based platform.

Developer support and customer adoption of BlackBerry has, as Wu points out in a research note, so far been "lukewarm," and this could derail any hopes the carriers might have of being able to nurture a competitor to the twin juggernauts of iOS and Android.

The key, according to Wu, is not just the number of apps in a particular app store, but the symbiotic relationship between developers making money from the apps, and customers who buy and use them.

2013 could be the make or break year for BlackBerry.

Topics: BlackBerry, Smartphones

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

35 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Probably will have to wait till January 30th

    to get an answer to that question and maybe longer till the handsets are out and available to the general public.
    SinfoCOMAR
  • Small correction

    Windows Phone 8, not Windows 8, though that's an amusing mistake to make.
    Alleycat5
    • confusion

      while a simple amusing mistake, it helps to illustrates the confusion. windows phone 8 , windows 8 RT, windows 8 full. The windows name is synonymous with 'runs your apps'. When it won't in some cases consumers won't be happy.
      drwong
      • I thought that Windows Phone, RT, and Windows 8 full all run apps.

        or are there 3 different stores?
        William Farrel
        • They might be in the same store

          At least I know RT and Windows 8 full are in the same. The difference is that you only see apps that can run on your device, not all of them.

          Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 must also be in the same store as WP8 can install WP7 apps but not the other way around.
          lepoete73
  • Carriers Are Always Interested In New Devices...

    This is how they keep their money machine running.

    Now, will BlackBerry 10 actually be the rabbit from RIM's hat? I don't think so.
    From what has been seen up to now, the new platform lacks everything you can expect from a reboot.
    The UX has no soul, is somewhat a ripoff of both iOS and Android and doesn't really bring new concepts like Windows Phone did.
    Physically, the devices are fine but here again, nothing outstanding.

    It's too early to really tell yet but I strongly doubt it will get more traction than Windows Phone did in its first year. The BlackBerry name has a negative vide associated with it and it takes time to dissipate.
    TheCyberKnight
    • Typo

      ...has a negative VIBE associated...
      TheCyberKnight
      • You're a dufis

        How in the WORLD is BB10 s ripoff of iOS? Multitasking in iOS6 is NON-EXISTENT and RIM's new platform is all of that and more. BB10 isn't even out yet and it's already light years ahead of iOS. Boring home button, boring navigation. Zero multitasking. You are obviously one of the Koolaid drinkers. Apple's OS has remained teh same since 06-07, well, the "5 th row" is new. Their map sucked and Google Maps app saved them. Siri is inaccurate 60% of the time. In this race, it will be all about apps and Blackberry's Playbook has added TONS of big market apps (Jetpack Joyride, All Angry Birds, Dead Space, Cut the Rope, etc). Developers have already stated BB10 is much easier and pleasant to develop for compared to Apple & Android (devs HATE Android- malware and pirating). RIM is a huge threat...that OS is absolutely gorgeous and you have to be a fanboy or a complete moron not to notice it. Stop being in denial dude
        Kess So Harlem
        • Go Have A Look At Screenshots...

          First, dude, read again. I'm talking about the UX.

          Whether you like it or not, BB10 will not innovate on the UX front. The "peek" feature is an "almost" worthless attribute trying to be a differentiating factor. For the remaining UX appearance, it "borrows" the visual signature of both iOS and Android in a troubling way. If you can't see this, you should wonder who's the fanboy.

          As for the OS itself, they're "almost" all at the same technological level. None of them totally smokes the other ones.
          TheCyberKnight
    • I disagree

      I think the new OS is more up to date than the iOS and Android OSes. I also think the negative BB vibe is dissipating and people are already starting to look to it as they hear good things from reviewers and carriers.
      It won't turn overnight but if they can get a 10% marketshare right off the bat and continue to grow, they will be OK.
      A strong 3rd place for now would be more than enough to become profitable.
      Susan Antony
      • But will it even be desirable enough for 3rd place?

        MS has time and money from other things to keep working on Windows 8 phones.

        Does RIM?
        William Farrel
    • Nothing new? lol

      The new platform is amazing and completely different. It's nothing like android, and absolutely nothing at all like iOS.

      'Balance' separates work and personal down to the OPERATING SYSTEM LEVEL. Stunning.

      TRUE MULTITASKING with QNX. No performance loss with multiple apps open and running.

      The interface with open running apps right on the home screen? Not stupid Windows Phone 'tiles' that update unread message counts, or Android 'Widgets' that are simply an open app doing nothing lying around on the screen, and certainly far better than iPhone's tired, never changing, icon stacks. Actual running apps that have one appearance when you have them full screen and another when you shrink them. Amazing.

      The keyboard? SPACE INFERENCE!? Thatisfuckinggenius! Or as BB10 keyboard would correct for me...That is fucking genius! It also learns YOUR FAT FINGERS. If you consistently misspell words because you're missing the correct letter by a speck, it makes that adjustment for you. It knows where your fat finger meant to tap.

      'Flow' is incredible as well. All messages, from all sources, always a gesture away. Customizable.

      The camera? Time shift? No one has anything like that. Nothing even close.

      The browser? Perfect score on the HTML5 tests. No other phone browser can compete. Crappy Safari on iPhone failed about 9 of the tests.

      This is a game changer. I'm not a BB fan boy nor a BB salesman, but I've been watching this closely. I am using S3 now, and I love it, but I will be selling it and getting this phone.

      Truly innovative.
      Daniel Kinem
      • Overly Optimistic

        True multitasking on phones, without any limitations and proper battery life, is not possible with today's processors and batteries. And since RIM does not own any unique powers or secret technology, they have to abide the physics law like everybody else.

        The adaptive keyboard technology that probabilistically change the "virtual" size of keys according to what you type is a feature already available on Windows Phone. Read.

        The time-shifting feature for the camera is also already available on Nokia Lumia phones. Sorry.
        TheCyberKnight
        • no

          lumia's doesn't work. it never even finds the faces. well maybe half the time. it's a joke.

          does windows virtual size of keys also have suggestions above the keys that you can swipe up? fail.

          i notice you didn't address flow. nor balance. at all. IT departments will love this as will users.

          multitasking with qnx is completely different, reportedly, low battery consumption per BB. we will see.

          Read.
          Daniel Kinem
  • Go BB10!

    If we need a third player, as some feel we do, lets not make it windows.
    drwong
    • rim controllable

      I believe the carriers do want 3rd platform, but since they already have two behemoths, google and apple, I think they would prefer the third to be smaller and more malleable to their needs. The carriers can help promote what they want, but ultimately, the buyers will determine each ecosystems fat.
      normcf
      • fate

        I wish there was edit capability.
        normcf
        • We all wish it!

          Edit capability disappeared when the site moved to a new place.

          You're not the first and surely not the last to complain about this...
          lepoete73
    • BB will go!

      but not to third place. Yes we need three, but I doubt it will be BB for too much longer.
      William Farrel
  • Huh???

    "success or failure will, according to one analyst, come down to developers and customers."

    True of every computing device ever made. Thanks for the insight...
    NoAxToGrind