The BlackBerry smartphones by Research In Motion (RIM) has been the losing horse in the smartphone race, being defeated by Google’s Android OS by a margin of more than 8 to 1, in terms of sales. According to RIM Chief Executive Thorsten Heins, the company plans to license its upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS to other manufacturers of smartphones such as Samsung and Sony. Heins also said that the company is not in trouble. “If you look at the platform it's still growing, if you look at the devices we've got a single phone that's sold 45 million units,” he said.
Heins said in an interview with the Telegraph that BlackBerry doesn’t have the resources to compete with some of the major smartphone manufacturers in terms of the sheer number of handsets produced each year. So the company might need to look at some other business models. “We have to differentiate and have a focused platform,” said Heins. “To deliver BB10 we may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a way better cost proposition than I can do it.“
The BlackBerry 10 OS is set to offer what Heins refers to as a “true multitasking experience”, that enables users to run a number of systems at the same time. He is confident that the new version of the OS will be a success. “I think a lot of people are going to be surprised,” he said.
BlackBerry 10 may be licensed to other phone manufacturers
RIM had recently released an update to its developer alpha devices for BlackBerry 10 OS. One of the biggest features in the new build of BlackBerry 10 was the voice command feature with an operator whose voice sounds very similar to Apple’s Siri.
The new voice command feature is accessed by pressing the voice command button set between the two volume buttons in the developer alpha devices. It is still an early beta build so the voice command has limited functionality, but N4BB demonstrates that it has a universal search function, apart from calling and sending text messages. It may not yet be ready for prime time use, but it sounds very similar to Siri from Apple’s iPhone. The voice command technology is speculated to be powered by Nuance, the same company that Apple acquired Siri from.
According to earlier reports, RIM had confirmed that BlackBerry 10 will include a video chat feature through RIM's popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service. This didn’t come as a surprise, considering that the BlackBerry PlayBook also has a Video Chat feature and the Dev Alpha devices being handed out to developers had front facing cameras. This was the first time RIM confirmed that there would be Video Chat available on BBM.
The upcoming BlackBerry 10 is highly anticipated. RIM has also released its developer tools for BlackBerry 10. Building a strong library of applications for the new BlackBerry platform is crucial to its success as its existing library of apps is far smaller than rival offerings from Apple and Google. Many of its available apps are incompatible with the upcoming BlackBerry 10. RIM is struggling to reverse years of slowing sales, delayed and disappointing product launches, and an embarrassing global outage of its prized network.