RIM has 50 carriers testing BlackBerry 10, but Q1 timing tricky

RIM has 50 carriers testing BlackBerry 10, but Q1 timing tricky

Summary: BlackBerry 10 is being evaluated by 50 wireless carriers. It's still unclear when BlackBerry 10 will launch in the first quarter.

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Research in Motion is touting that it has its BlackBerry 10 platform in the labs of 50 carriers. Unfortunately, that milestone doesn't resolve the first quarter timing much.

In a statement to CNET News' Roger Cheng, RIM said:

In the last week, BlackBerry 10 achieved Lab Entry with more than 50 carriers -- a key step in our preparedness for the launch of BlackBerry 10 in the first quarter of 2013.

The catch is it's unclear when in RIM's first quarter BlackBerry 10 will launch. An early launch would be best, but analysts are betting that RIM will come in toward the end of the first quarter of 2013. Carrier certification can be delayed. 

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For now, RIM is on a series of roadshows. To wit:

  • RIM is working enterprise customers to pitch BlackBerry 10 as it aims to keep core customers.
  • Developers are actively being courted by RIM as it woos the Android crowd with hopes they'll go native.
  • And carriers are being wooed too because RIM needs distribution. Telecom players also don't desperately want a No. 3 platform so they aren't dependent on Android and Apple.

That latter audience represents RIM's first step to a successful launch.

Related: RIM's turnaround prospects: Analysts highly skeptical

Topics: Smartphones, Mobility, BlackBerry

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15 comments
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  • RIM is done, put a fork in it.

    RIM couldn't let go of buttons on a phone the same way Intel and Microsoft can't let go of the keyboard, mouse and power sucking x86 chips. They are all a bunch of Dinosaurs waiting on nuclear winter from the meteor strike. Their days are numbered, and their isn't much they can do but join the party. By 2015 we'll be wondering the same things about Intel that we do today about RIM. A once great company that got stuck in time and couldn't move forward falters because of stubborn ignorance.
    Todd Edens
    • There's a tiny sliver of hope

      It's not so much that RIM can't let go of buttons, it's that there's around 70 to 80 million Blackberry users who can't let go of buttons. The touch screen version of BB10 will try to attract those that want a touch screen phone but haven't bought into another platform or those that are still using dumb / feature phones.
      Shameer Mulji
    • Todd, your post appears to place you as a USA citizen

      There is a big commerce world outside of the borders of the USA. This applies to RIM's products as well as to other manufactured goods. The USA is no longer Canada's only big customer as evidenced by the demands for our oil and other resources by China and Europe. RIM is far from dead. However, the one item that cannot be disputed is that the USA will be overtaken by China to become the worlds largest economy.
      canuck_golfer
    • It has nothing to do with buttons

      BB let a number of features and performance slide: Camera, display resolution, speed etc.

      That said my BB still does many things better than my wife's Samsung Galaxy II s2 skyrocket. It works with bluetooth voice command better, it does email better. It syncs up with our enterprise email system. It has better turn by turn navigation (free and BB app). Free online backup and locator. Some stuff is just smoother. Excellent battery life

      And as compared to the iPhone it is very rugged. Taken multiple drops to hard surfaces (asphalt and concrete). Excellent signal works where many phones can't. Great multi-tasking. I can play music, do turn by turn and take calls all at the same time. Decent voice command.

      Where it falls flat, smaller display with poor resolution, inferior camera and slow browsing, no netflix and availability of support for mobile apps has declined.

      BB 10 should address most of these problems, we will see on the app side.
      DevGuy_z
    • Buttons?

      Hardly a button issue. RIM's first problem as the one shared with Nokia, Palm and Microsoft: Apple, then Android, came along selling advanced pocket computers that were faster and more useful than ever, with thousand of applications, desktop class web browsing, etc. RIM was still building phones with durn good email, with performance lagging 2-3 years. They ignored every new communications paradigm, while on Android and Apple, there's an app for that. And they ignored the consumer market, as the fossils did, while the upstarts understood that consumers always drive success.... and every business professional is also a consumer.

      Far as keyboards and Intel goes, you're clueless. Keyboards and mice remain superior input devices for real work. They also don't fit in your pocket. My pocket computer, oddly still dubbed a "phone", is more powerful than the PC I used 10 years ago. But a 4.65" screen, mobility, etc. is an inherent compromise... so I'm willing to smear greasy fingers over my viewing surface to have this availability. In the time it's taken me to write this on my tablet, using a Swype on-screen keyboard -- many times faster than the fixed iOS keyboard -- I could have touch- typed this a dozen times on a real keyboard.

      Touch is handy, but brute-force. That's why Samsung, Microsoft, and others are already augmenting the finger touch screen with a Wacom style stylus interface. Not needed to access data, but to create it, yes.

      Far as Intel goes, they already have x86 SOCs that rival some ARM devices on power, price, and performance. A bit weak compared to the best of ARM right now, but Microsoft just gave them an advantage on Windows 8, by locking down ARM and not supporting full Windows on it. So x86 at the same price in a tablet is a huge advantage.Android does is pretty CPU agnostic; NDK apps favor ARM, but there aren't that many. And don't forget how RISC was going to destroy Intel. Other than ARM (not even a significant player in those days), pretty much the opposite happened.

      Even if Intel's weak on mobile today, they win on process as much as design. Of the major ARM companies, only Samsung has their own process...everyone else is commodity, at TSMC or Globalfoundaries or one of tge others.

      Even if Intel was at risk, they're way too huge, and desktop/laptop computing too far ahead of mobile, for Intel to be at risk in 2015. Heck, they're still growing. Microsoft peaked during the Windows XP heyday, been in decline ever since, and they're not only still around, it's possible (not likely, but possible) that Win8 brings them back, or at least assures a less powerful but solid future.
      Hazydave
    • Buttons?

      Hardly a button issue. RIM's first problem as the one shared with Nokia, Palm and Microsoft: Apple, then Android, came along selling advanced pocket computers that were faster and more useful than ever, with thousand of applications, desktop class web browsing, etc. RIM was still building phones with durn good email, with performance lagging 2-3 years. They ignored every new communications paradigm, while on Android and Apple, there's an app for that. And they ignored the consumer market, as the fossils did, while the upstarts understood that consumers always drive success.... and every business professional is also a consumer.

      Far as keyboards and Intel goes, you're clueless. Keyboards and mice remain superior input devices for real work. They also don't fit in your pocket. My pocket computer, oddly still dubbed a "phone", is more powerful than the PC I used 10 years ago. But a 4.65" screen, mobility, etc. is an inherent compromise... so I'm willing to smear greasy fingers over my viewing surface to have this availability. In the time it's taken me to write this on my tablet, using a Swype on-screen keyboard -- many times faster than the fixed iOS keyboard -- I could have touch- typed this a dozen times on a real keyboard.

      Touch is handy, but brute-force. That's why Samsung, Microsoft, and others are already augmenting the finger touch screen with a Wacom style stylus interface. Not needed to access data, but to create it, yes.

      Far as Intel goes, they already have x86 SOCs that rival some ARM devices on power, price, and performance. A bit weak compared to the best of ARM right now, but Microsoft just gave them an advantage on Windows 8, by locking down ARM and not supporting full Windows on it. So x86 at the same price in a tablet is a huge advantage.Android does is pretty CPU agnostic; NDK apps favor ARM, but there aren't that many. And don't forget how RISC was going to destroy Intel. Other than ARM (not even a significant player in those days), pretty much the opposite happened.

      Even if Intel's weak on mobile today, they win on process as much as design. Of the major ARM companies, only Samsung has their own process...everyone else is commodity, at TSMC or Globalfoundaries or one of tge others.

      Even if Intel was at risk, they're way too huge, and desktop/laptop computing too far ahead of mobile, for Intel to be at risk in 2015. Heck, they're still growing. Microsoft peaked during the Windows XP heyday, been in decline ever since, and they're not only still around, it's possible (not likely, but possible) that Win8 brings them back, or at least assures a less powerful but solid future.
      Hazydave
    • Buttons?

      Hardly a button issue. RIM's first problem as the one shared with Nokia, Palm and Microsoft: Apple, then Android, came along selling advanced pocket computers that were faster and more useful than ever, with thousand of applications, desktop class web browsing, etc. RIM was still building phones with durn good email, with performance lagging 2-3 years. They ignored every new communications paradigm, while on Android and Apple, there's an app for that. And they ignored the consumer market, as the fossils did, while the upstarts understood that consumers always drive success.... and every business professional is also a consumer.

      Far as keyboards and Intel goes, you're clueless. Keyboards and mice remain superior input devices for real work. They also don't fit in your pocket. My pocket computer, oddly still dubbed a "phone", is more powerful than the PC I used 10 years ago. But a 4.65" screen, mobility, etc. is an inherent compromise... so I'm willing to smear greasy fingers over my viewing surface to have this availability. In the time it's taken me to write this on my tablet, using a Swype on-screen keyboard -- many times faster than the fixed iOS keyboard -- I could have touch- typed this a dozen times on a real keyboard.

      Touch is handy, but brute-force. That's why Samsung, Microsoft, and others are already augmenting the finger touch screen with a Wacom style stylus interface. Not needed to access data, but to create it, yes.

      Far as Intel goes, they already have x86 SOCs that rival some ARM devices on power, price, and performance. A bit weak compared to the best of ARM right now, but Microsoft just gave them an advantage on Windows 8, by locking down ARM and not supporting full Windows on it. So x86 at the same price in a tablet is a huge advantage.Android does is pretty CPU agnostic; NDK apps favor ARM, but there aren't that many. And don't forget how RISC was going to destroy Intel. Other than ARM (not even a significant player in those days), pretty much the opposite happened.

      Even if Intel's weak on mobile today, they win on process as much as design. Of the major ARM companies, only Samsung has their own process...everyone else is commodity, at TSMC or Globalfoundaries or one of tge others.

      Even if Intel was at risk, they're way too huge, and desktop/laptop computing too far ahead of mobile, for Intel to be at risk in 2015. Heck, they're still growing. Microsoft peaked during the Windows XP heyday, been in decline ever since, and they're not only still around, it's possible (not likely, but possible) that Win8 brings them back, or at least assures a less powerful but solid future.
      Hazydave
    • Buttons?

      Hardly a button issue. RIM's first problem as the one shared with Nokia, Palm and Microsoft: Apple, then Android, came along selling advanced pocket computers that were faster and more useful than ever, with thousand of applications, desktop class web browsing, etc. RIM was still building phones with durn good email, with performance lagging 2-3 years. They ignored every new communications paradigm, while on Android and Apple, there's an app for that. And they ignored the consumer market, as the fossils did, while the upstarts understood that consumers always drive success.... and every business professional is also a consumer.

      Far as keyboards and Intel goes, you're clueless. Keyboards and mice remain superior input devices for real work. They also don't fit in your pocket. My pocket computer, oddly still dubbed a "phone", is more powerful than the PC I used 10 years ago. But a 4.65" screen, mobility, etc. is an inherent compromise... so I'm willing to smear greasy fingers over my viewing surface to have this availability. In the time it's taken me to write this on my tablet, using a Swype on-screen keyboard -- many times faster than the fixed iOS keyboard -- I could have touch- typed this a dozen times on a real keyboard.

      Touch is handy, but brute-force. That's why Samsung, Microsoft, and others are already augmenting the finger touch screen with a Wacom style stylus interface. Not needed to access data, but to create it, yes.

      Far as Intel goes, they already have x86 SOCs that rival some ARM devices on power, price, and performance. A bit weak compared to the best of ARM right now, but Microsoft just gave them an advantage on Windows 8, by locking down ARM and not supporting full Windows on it. So x86 at the same price in a tablet is a huge advantage.Android does is pretty CPU agnostic; NDK apps favor ARM, but there aren't that many. And don't forget how RISC was going to destroy Intel. Other than ARM (not even a significant player in those days), pretty much the opposite happened.

      Even if Intel's weak on mobile today, they win on process as much as design. Of the major ARM companies, only Samsung has their own process...everyone else is commodity, at TSMC or Globalfoundaries or one of tge others.

      Even if Intel was at risk, they're way too huge, and desktop/laptop computing too far ahead of mobile, for Intel to be at risk in 2015. Heck, they're still growing. Microsoft peaked during the Windows XP heyday, been in decline ever since, and they're not only still around, it's possible (not likely, but possible) that Win8 brings them back, or at least assures a less powerful but solid future.
      Hazydave
  • RIM aint done. RIM THAT BEST

    Oh ye i-sheeps thinking RIM is done , get prepared to join the moving trian or be left behind. Ios is stale, QNX is the way forward.
    perryy
  • BB 10

    Having used various phones and OS I still think no one can beat BB for e-mails. Even as I use iPhone I still own a BB and can only hope for a decent non keyboard version with greatly enhanced features to keep using a BB. So I look forward with impatience for BB10!
    vibbaxi
  • Typo?

    "Telecom players also don't desperately want a No. 3 platform so they aren't dependent on Android and Apple."

    They do want a No 3?
    gtvr
  • It was never any good

    From the beginning, the BB was never any good. I have gone through the full cycle of Treo, BB, iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. I have used multiples of each over the years. Honestly, the only two good devices are the iPhone and Windows Phone. And if you are in a corporate environment on Windows PC's, then get a Lumia and a Surface and move on.
    jonpaul13
    • New BB10

      jonpaul, have you tried the new BB10 phone yet?
      Susan Antony
      • RE: New BB10

        With Windows 8 on my desktop, the new Surface unit that I got last week, and my Windows Phone, I don't have any need to try anything else. I'm very happy. And if I was going to try something else, I would go back to my iPhone, which I really enjoyed. It is a great device. The Windows Phone is just so much more connected for how I work. I still push the iPhone for a lot of people (including my wife), because it fits them better. I push the Windows Phone for people in a more corporate environment.

        I think that is BB10's biggest hurdle. There just isn't a need for the device. It doesn't matter how well it works, what I have works great. Plus, for those who are not as willing to try new devices, the BB was always at the bottom of the barrel (IMO). I never like either of the models that I used. And I used them for about 2 years, due to company mandates. As soon as I could switch, I went with the iPhone and was much more productive. Now that's even bigger with the Windows Phone.
        jonpaul13
  • Anti RIM Pessimism

    The article presumes BB10 will be so buggy during trials that RIM will delay product launch until the end of the quarter. That does not square well with what CEO Heins is trying to accomplish. BB10 has been delayed to get the bugs out. It is more likely the product is nearly ready for launch and the final step is widespread testing over many networks.

    I suppose RIM bashing is good for those shorting the stock. The danger in too much negative hype is those shorting the stock could get caught up in a short squeeze if the product launches early in the quarter and becomes accepted enough to stem the move away from RIM products in the US and other major markets allowing RIM to return to profitability.

    Should this happen, RIM would be well advised to then stay on top of the game and come up with follow-on improvements to their ecosystem to regain corporate and government market share which is where the high margins can be found. They will also have to improve their marketing savvy to make a dent in the consumer market if that is where they wish to go but I'm not sure if the current margins are worth it. The product would have to have a big wow factor and a lot of hype to allow for a premium price point in the consumer market that competitors such as Apple can impose.
    yvesmarchand@...