Michael Finneran
Michael F. Finneran, is President of dBrn Associates, Inc., a full service advisory firm specializing in wireless and mobility; services...
Read Full Bio >>

Michael Finneran | January 31, 2013 |


BlackBerry 10 Debuts With Surprises, Some Not So Good

BlackBerry 10 Debuts With Surprises, Some Not So Good RIM has done a good job with BB10--other than getting into the market a year or two too late. But ultimately, I don't think BB10 is going to move the needle for RIM

RIM has done a good job with BB10--other than getting into the market a year or two too late. But ultimately, I don't think BB10 is going to move the needle for RIM

In a series of PR events staged around the world, RIM (who will now be referring to itself as "BlackBerry") introduced the much-anticipated and oft-delayed BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system. Based on the QNX operating system RIM acquired in 2010, BB10 will be offered on two models initially, the touchscreen Z10 (pronounced in the English form as "Zed 10") and the qwerty-equipped Q10. The Z10 was to go on sale in the UK this week and in Canada next Tuesday; US availability is expected in March. RIM claims the delay in the US introduction is due to the extensive testing done by the US carriers.

More importantly, the Q10 keyboard model won't be available until April (no specific date provided). As I noted in a post last week, the lack of a keyboard model is critical given that the keyboard is the feature most prized by the few remaining BlackBerry loyalists.

I haven't had the chance to play with a Z10 yet, though I have pored over all of the videos I could find. It appears to be essentially what RIM described at BlackBerry World back in May and over the several months leading up to the launch. The full specs are now out, and on paper at least, the Z10 compares quite favorably with the iPhone 5 and the top-end Samsung Android models like the Galaxy SIII, as well as the Motorola Droid DNA. Like the Galaxy SIII, the Z10 has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, though the Z10's is a TI OMAP where the Samsung uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon; the iPhone 5 uses a dual-core 1.02 GHz A6 processor.

The Z10 has a 4.2-inch display versus 4-inches on the iPhone 5, 4.8-inches on the SIII, and 5-inches on the Droid DNA. The Z10's resolution is actually better than the iPhone's "Retina Display," boasting 1280 x 768 pixels versus 1136 x 640 pixels on the iPhone 5; the SIII matches the Z10's resolution. The Z10 supports LTE on the cellular side as well as 802.11a/b/g and n Wi-Fi, and it operates in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. It also has NFC capability like the BlackBerry Bold 9900. If you'd like a full feature-by-feature comparison, Daniel Ionescu did a good one in PCWorld.

However, anyone who has had any exposure to the smartphone business will know that a feature-by-feature comparison will yield little insight into how a device will fare in the market. Hey, WebOS got great reviews. As I regularly point out to my pals who try to get me to dump my iPhone for an Android, this business isn't about "speeds-and-feeds", it's about the overall user experience, which is greatly influenced by the "feel", the user interface (UI), and app availability.

It is clear that RIM has not forgotten how to build good solid mobile devices with good battery life and excellent audio quality. The Z10 went for the "thinner-and-longer" profile of the iPhone 5 rather than the "my-screen-is-bigger-than-your-screen" posture of the Galaxy SIII.

For the core software functions, the Z10 has some well-thought-out features. The BB10 software provides three primary views: the Apps Home Screen (that can display up to 16 icons); Active Frames (similar to Windows Phone's "Live Tiles") that allows you to see all open applications and any updates they receive; and the clever BlackBerry Hub.

The Hub is a customizable central repository for all emails, messages, and other notifications. The nice thing is that you can view the Hub at any time by dragging your current application to the right, and the Hub appears on the left side of the screen. It's kind of like the Hub is "hiding" back there all the time and you can peek at it any time you like.

BlackBerry Hub Display

RIM continues to offer BlackBerry Balance, which they featured in earlier releases, that allows a corporate "sandbox" to be configured on the device, allowing business and personal information to be kept separate. Not only is the information separated, no business information can be transferred out of that sandbox.

Finally, BB10 devices will be compatible with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), and with the addition of BlackBerry Fusion, the BES management platform can now support iOS and Android devices as well. RIM has also added video chat to the popular BlackBerry Messenger service, and the browser is also greatly improved, something that's long overdue.

Next page: Predictive Typing


April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.