With BlackBerry 10 launching on January 30, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has explained how the company plans to win back users with the platform.
"We have a lot of social channels that we track on Facebook and Twitter...we know what people that actually left BlackBerry to another platform think about that platform or what they think about the BlackBerry platform", he said when asked how RIM will win back BB users (as well as government agencies and large organizations) who have migrated to other platforms. There's a lot of comments that say, "Hey, I wanna come back." This is a target segment that our marketing approach will specifically go after."
"You cannot be everybody's darling," he added. "There is a clear segmentation of who BlackBerry talks to. If your friend is a multi-tasker, hyperconnected, gets stuff done, she's probably going to be very, very attracted by BlackBerry 10."
Because if you look at the integration of all the channels in the BlackBerry Hub, if you look how easy it is to take action within the BlackBerry Hub, where on other devices and OSes, you would have to have this in a note paradigm, in the application grid.
Open Facebook, respond. OK. Open LinkedIn, respond. Open e-mail, respond. It's always this gesture in the application grid. No, I think [BlackBerry 10] is going to be a very compelling user experience. And that's what our tests show, so we have a lot of proof data around this.
We haven't built a new platform for just a year. This platform is going to take us to the next decade...So what they get with BlackBerry 10 is a real future-proof platform and a whole new innovative user paradigm that is not this application grid anymore. That was very intuitive five years ago when it was invented. It was fantastic, right? It really caught on with the user.
But now with the BlackBerry Flow and with Peek and with the Hub concept, it just makes you more productive with less stress, and people will love it.
Addressing speculation to when the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones will launch, Heins said: "What I can tell you is launch date is January 30th, that's when we show the devices to the press. And then shortly thereafter, whatever that is, you will see it in the shops."
He later hinted at a February release for the devices. "We're certainly doing our best with the carriers to not have too much of a time gap between the launch and the shop availability because you lose the momentum, you lose the energy. So, you know, you want it to be pretty close."
The general consensus, at least from industry figures, is that BlackBerry 10 will have a hard time in the market. While RIM believes features such as active multitasking will differentiate the operating system, the upcoming platform is expected to be dead on arrival.