RIM's prototype BlackBerry 10 device likened to a mini-PlayBook

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Research in Motion on Tuesday launched its BlackBerry 10 platform for developers, and also showed off a new pre-release prototype device that has been likened to a smaller version of the PlayBook tablet.

The BlackBerry 10 platform was unveiled at the BlackBerry World conference in Orlando, Fla., where the company also released the initial developer toolkit for native and HTML software development. Developers can access the beta software for free from developer.blackberry.com.

"BlackBerry 10 builds upon the core values and exceptional user experiences that have attracted more than 77 million BlackBerry customers around the world today," Alec Saunders, vice president of Developer Relations and Ecosystems Development at RIM, said in a press release. "Developers building for BlackBerry 10 will be able to easily create the kind of cutting-edge apps that deliver truly engaging experiences and ?wow? customers, whether through integration with native features and other apps like BBM or by leveraging the new signature design elements of this new and powerful mobile computing platform."

While the BlackBerry 10 platform was officially launched for developers, RIM did not show off any official forthcoming BlackBerry 10-based devices this week. Instead, the new operating system was demonstrated on a prototype device that analyst Mark Sue with RBC Capital Markets said looks like a shrunken PlayBook.

The test hardware features a 4.2-inch touchscreen at a resolution of 1,280 by 768 pixels, and lacks a physical QWERTY keyboard. In addition to resembling a smaller version of the PlayBook, Sue said it also resembles a number of Android devices already available on the market. It is not final hardware, but is intended to help developers begin designing software for the new BlackBerry 10 platform.

RIM Chief Executive Thorsten Heins "appeared confident" that his company will launch their first BlackBerry 10 device in the second half of calendar 2012, Sue said. He expects carriers are targeting an October launch, which would likely coincide with the debut of Apple's sixth-generation iPhone.

"RIM received applause from the friendly audience for new BlackBerry features that address its core productivity/message-centric customer base," Sue wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday. "The BlackBerry 10 UI (based on QNX cascades) appears similar to Microsoft Metro with quick to view notifications (which looked to us like Metro's Live Tiles) and seamless multi-tasking (e.g. view a PDF attachment, email, and list of messages all at the same time).

RIM


"RIM's new on-screen keyboard appears innovative offering predictive next word suggestions (as opposed to just word completion), and may offer the productivity that BlackBerry users are looking for in a touchscreen. RIM also appears that it will have BBM available for BB10 smartphones (addressing a prior concern),"

A number of developers were also present at this week's conference, including Gameloft and Citrix. They showed off wheat Sue described as "competitive apps" for the BlackBerry 10 platform.

"Many indicated BB10 is easy to develop for, a big improvement from legacy BlackBerry," he said. "While RIM is addressing prior shortcomings that limited developer momentum, it is still playing catch-up vs. Apple's 600k apps and Android's 400k. We believe beyond core BlackBerry fans, RIM's smaller app/content ecosystem could constrain BlackBerry's traction among the broader consumer market."

Applications created with the new BlackBerry 10 tools will run on BlackBerry 10 smartphones as well as the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet when the new platform launches on the PlayBook.

RIM attempted last week to drum up publicity for the BlackBerry 10 platform with a mock protest staged outside an Apple Store in Sydney, Australia. A flashmob staged a demonstration outside of the store, holding signs that read "WAKE UP."

Last month it was revealed that RIM is in talks with a financial adviser to assist the company in weighing strategic options as it continues to struggle in the smartphone and tablet markets. Among the possibilities for RIM are an agreement to license its smartphone software to device makers, or an outside investment in RIM.

The company reported dismal earnings late last month as three major executives, including co-founder Jim Balsillie, left the company, after reporting quarterly results so poor that the RIM had to publicly clarify it did not plan to pull out of the consumer sector. Earlier this month, RIM lost two more top executives, and the company revealed it was weighing its strategic options.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Looks a little like Windows Phone 7.


     


    And I'm really unsure how I feel about that keyboard.

  • Reply 2 of 28
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member


    " ...has been likened to a smaller version of the PlayBook tablet."


     


    Oh dear, we all know how well that did!

  • Reply 3 of 28
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,493member


    RIM has a lot of ground to climb back up.  However, I applaud RIM and Microsoft for at least trying to do their own development and running with it.  Anything else is better than that iOS clone Android and all the fractured knockoffs it spawned.

  • Reply 4 of 28
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    Agreed—that UI is not an Apple clone. It can be done!


     


    (Still... “wake up” to what? You’d better ship before that kind of marketing!)

  • Reply 5 of 28
    andyappleandyapple Posts: 152member
    The interface looks fluid and fairly attractive and the resolution is good too.

    Pretty sure that the predictive keyboard demo took longer to play “Need to make sure that I leave early" than for me to type it in my new iPad though.
  • Reply 6 of 28
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,893member


    At this point I think the best they can hope for is to somehow hold onto a little sliver of the market and then hope that the competition somehow shoots itself in the foot. 


     


    In other words, they're doomed. 

  • Reply 7 of 28
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by andyapple View Post

    Pretty sure that the predictive keyboard demo took longer to play “Need to make sure that I leave early" than for me to type it in my new iPad though.


     


    Well, yeah. You have ten fingers on an iPad.

  • Reply 8 of 28
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by andyapple View Post



    The interface looks fluid and fairly attractive and the resolution is good too.

    Pretty sure that the predictive keyboard demo took longer to play “Need to make sure that I leave early" than for me to type it in my new iPad though.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Well, yeah. You have ten fingers on an iPad.



     


    Even better, the new iPad has excellent dictation!

  • Reply 9 of 28
    gadgetcanadagadgetcanada Posts: 423member


    Here's hoping RIM pulls through. I think this software is finally a beacon of light for them in their gRIM landscape. I do think they will be fighting Microsoft for the bottom 1/3 of the market though.

  • Reply 10 of 28
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member


    Y'all have to see the camera in action. That has "killer app" written all over it. The demo makes me think back to when Steve "pinched and zoomed" on the iPhone for the very first time, as thousands ooed and awed. 

  • Reply 11 of 28
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member


    RIM, welcome to 2007. You finally made it.

  • Reply 12 of 28
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,115member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    Y'all have to see the camera in action. That has "killer app" written all over it. The demo makes me think back to when Steve "pinched and zoomed" on the iPhone for the very first time, as thousands ooed and awed. 



    Yeah, that looks pretty fucking awesome. Nice to see some real innovation. 

  • Reply 13 of 28
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 501member


    Perhaps they should have held the mock protest in front of their own headquarters.  If anybody needs to WAKE UP, it's those running RIM.  They're running the company straight into the ground.

  • Reply 14 of 28
    focherfocher Posts: 638member


    It looks like RIM has some very nice innovations planned. Unfortunately for them, it's likely far too little and far too late. At least the other players will have a chance to introduce some of those features. The camera feature alone is pretty interesting.

  • Reply 15 of 28
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,476member


    RIM is another example of they know they can not get any press so they use the competition to garner press for themselves. They know anything that happens to Apple would get lots of press coverage to they took advantage of free advertising. They obviously lack resources and money to truly market their own new product. It is bad as the who Beta test thing M$ is attempting to do,  their ad campaign have failed miserable in the past, not sure this is going to work out well for them this time.

  • Reply 16 of 28
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member


    Of all the things Steve did at the 2007 iPhone demo, I don't think he pinched and zoomed. I believe he did a double tap on NY Times web site. Could be wrong, of course.

     

  • Reply 17 of 28
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member


    RIM's prototype BlackBerry 10 device likened to a mini-PlayBook


     


    This is *not* a compliment. 

  • Reply 18 of 28
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,657member


    In other words, "destine for the landfill."


     


    But hey, it's different than iOS and Windows, so you gotta give 'em that. Unlike Android.

     

  • Reply 19 of 28
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,585member
    "Sue said it also resembles a number of Android devices already available on the market."

    Twits! It resembles the iPhone, the form factor all other devices copied! How innovative...
  • Reply 20 of 28
    macky the mackymacky the macky Posts: 4,766member

    Quote:


    "The BlackBerry 10 UI (based on QNX cascades) appears similar to Microsoft Metro with quick to view notifications (which looked to us like Metro's Live Tiles."



     


     


    If this is so, then the BlackBerry10 pulls it off with a better looking screen than Windows Live Tiles did.


     


    Personally, I doubt RIM really intends to take this to market themselves. This is all an attempt to look viable so that someone will overpay to buy the company. Similar in a way to what Palm did to get HP to buy them.

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