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Can BlackBerry 10 succeed as an all-in-one platform?

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Can BlackBerry 10 succeed as an all-in-one platform?
This is a trend that we've seen time and time again. Software companies are continuing to push towards a unified OS for all devices from traditional desktops to mobile. We've heard it from Microsoft, and Ubuntu, and now RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has hinted that the future of BlackBerry will span devices as well. 

In an interview with The New York Times, Heins said that he is positive about the future of the platform, adding that he doesn't "expect things to get much worse". Heins went on to show the new BlackBerry Hub, which will be the central location for all messages, notifications, and events in the upcoming BlackBerry 10. Then, Heins got extremely bold by saying that people won't "carry laptops within three to five years", because BlackBerry 10 devices would power all of your computing. 

Desktop to mobile and back again

This is the first we've heard from Heins about this sort of plan for BlackBerry 10. Until now, it seemed as though the platform would stay specifically on smartphones and tablets, but with the competition looking to unify device categories, it seems RIM has decided it needs to move into traditional desktops. Each company is taking a separate path to unification of course. 

Both Microsoft and Apple are trying to merge proprietary platforms in Windows Phone and Windows 8, and iOS and MacOS respectively. Canonical is both attempting to merge Ubuntu with its Linux cousin Android, and also modify Ubuntu itself to run on mobile devices. The extra hurdle for RIM will be that BlackBerry doesn't have a desktop counterpart, and will have to either try pushing QNX or rely heavily on virtualization. 

If RIM wants to be able to control both ends of the platform, virtualization is not a good option, and pushing QNX as a desktop platform is going to be a much more difficult process than moving the other way. Microsoft and Canonical (to a certain extent) are established in the desktop world, and are trying to push into mobile. This is far easier, because there is more turnover in mobile devices, and because the market is still relatively new. 

Mobile users get new smartphones every two years, on average, while desktops, especially those in enterprise, are updated with much less frequency, and can be a cycle as long as 5 to 7 years. RIM can certainly make a comeback in the mobile space, because BlackBerry has the name recognition, and because of that fast turnover rate. But, BlackBerry doesn't have that same recognition in the desktop space, and that's a segment that is still dominated by Microsoft. 

Because the mobile space is relatively new, and consumers are somewhat used to volatility in platform popularity, it is somewhat easier for a platform to unseat the leader in popularity, if not actual market share. It's already gone from Symbian to BlackBerry to iOS to Android. There's no reason Windows Phone or BlackBerry couldn't rise to unseat Android someday. But, the desktop market is far more static, so unseating Microsoft is an almost impossible task (just ask Apple and Canonical). 


It's great to hear Heins with so much optimism about BlackBerry, and finally using some real examples to talk up the platform. BlackBerry Hub sounds like a combination of the Android notification tray with the Windows Phone People Hub, and could be a really nice feature. It's far better to hear about that than marketing buzz speak. And, we have to agree with Heins that in three to five years, we likely won't be carrying laptops. The idea of just having a mobile device and a dock sounds like one that will continue to gain steam. But, until we see more of the desktop side of things, we're just not sure that BlackBerry will be a major player in that.

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posted on 19 Nov 2012, 21:05 10

1. JBurd3 (Posts: 11; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

To sum up the answer to the original question.... NO!

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 12:15

10. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1236; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)

Gotta gree with you. I just dont see BB10 as making a dent in the OS market....from what I have seen in the demo it doesnt have a differentiating factor from android

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 22:41

2. MC1123 (Posts: 1256; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

yeah... it would be nice to see BlackBerry Book! and all the next gen loptops/computers will be touchscreens and the UI of PlayBook is amazing! so i guess its really nice to see it on computers too!

so yeah... nobody knows the future... so no one can judge!

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 01:35

4. drahmad (Posts: 480; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)

no body knows future but at least we know this is not going to happen. its like saying "India will be more wealthier than united states in next four to five years" we know it cant happen so quick.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 22:47

3. MC1123 (Posts: 1256; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

"But, the desktop market is far more static, so unseating Microsoft is an almost impossible task (just ask Apple and Canonical). "

the reason is that, apple computers or "Mac" are overprice for what can it offer... yeah its beautiful but heck super expensive!

while ubuntu, its free, and fas as i know it has the ability to run Microsoft apps through wine...they got devs support but not enough... since its free, maintaining the softwares is hard! no fund since its just a community...but ubuntu is really good! very beautiful(if you want Mac, then ubuntu is for you!)

but i think Blackberry is in different way! they may or they may not outsell microsoft's dominance...but who knows... only time will tell!

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 12:24

11. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)

So, your argument is that Mac is too expensive to overtake Windows, and Linux is too free? By that logic, the perfect thing for RIM to do would be to sell the docking stations + phones at anywhere between 0 and 1000 dollars.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 18:04

12. MC1123 (Posts: 1256; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

"Mac is too expensive to overtake Windows, and Linux is too free?"

mac is too expensive yes... but most people want mac... but they just cant afford! even with these new ultrabooks that look exactly like a mac!

im not saying that linux can overtake MS coz its too free... free is good! but in linux, no decent app that is "Free" to be comparable to what windows is offering! like photoshop and microsoft office, open office or libre office just sucks to me! its not as functional as what microsoft office is giving me.... but for me corel office works a little bit better than microsoft's! coz you still need to pay to have good apps coz free apps isnt as good as what most people expect!

but i dont really know about RIM! but if they just planned it right, i think it will work! coz PlayBooks's gesture base OS is amazing and it will really look nice in a computer! and i think it looks and feels better than windows 8!

but then again, i dont know, and no one knows the future.. so lets just wait and see about what will RIM's gonna do!

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 09:17

8. DavidSmith1029 (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)

The real question is can Blackberry 10 succeed at all. I'm interested, but maybe not enough to buy.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 10:13

9. steelicon (Posts: 318; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)

When Microsoft has too many f-ups (the two forgettable phones, Nokia, W8, WP7.x,, WP8) and BlackBerry keeps on doing things right, I don't see how this could be far from reality.

Hearts and minds, BlackBerry. Capture our hearts and minds. Go BB10!

posted on 22 Nov 2012, 07:54

13. DylRicho (Posts: 17; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)

I'd rather stick to Android (HTC) and my Windows 7 laptop (ASUS).

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