Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Blackberry rolls the dice
by Jim Algar
Washington DC (UPI) Feb 02, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Research in Motion, desperate to turn around its flagging fortunes, has laid the chips on the table for it final wager in the form of two new Blackberry smartphones, the requisite collection of companion apps -- oh, and an announcement that it's not Research in Motion anymore.

The company has re-branded itself as Blackberry, and last week introduced the touchscreen Z10 and the Q10 for users who remain firmly in the physical QWERTY keyboard camp.

The reviews are coming in, with most judging both handsets completely competent, ably ticking most the boxes on the current smartphone must-have checklist.

Both phones are powered by a 1.5 gigahertz dual core processor with 2 gigabytes of RAM and 16 gigabytes of storage. The Z10 has a 4.2-inch touchscreen while the Q10 has a square 3.1-inch display sitting above a physical keyboard Blackberry says is the widest it's ever made. Both share rear facing 8-megapixel cameras and 2-megapixel front-facing cameras.

So in terms of CPU, RAM and storage, and in almost all other ways, the Blackberry phones are right in the thick of things as far as smartphone design and specifications go.

And therein may lie the problem. Phones have made the rapid evolution from cell phone to feature phone to smartphone, and the technology and feature set of the modern smartphone are mature and fairly well set.

Unfortunately for Blackberry, that evolution has been led and driven in equal measure by Apple with its iPhone and the multitude of phones running Google's Android.

Which is why most users have one or the other -- well, Windows Phone handsets are trying hard. To be enticed to move into the Blackberry camp would require something new, or at least significantly improved.

The Z10 and the Q10 may be excellent smartphones -- the jury is just now beginning its deliberations -- but new, in terms of what they can do or the hardware they offer, they're not. Anyone asked to switch from an iPhone or Android to a Z10 or Q10 Blackberry could be excused for responding with a justifiable, "Why?"

But Blackberry's biggest challenge may come in the only area left where one smartphone platform can hope -- and attempt -- to differentiate itself from another: apps.

Throughout the development process of the new phones, Blackberry has been desperately courting developers to build apps for the phones and the Blackberry 10 operating system. At launch, it boasted a library of 70,000.

Unfortunately that's only a fraction of the apps available for the iPhone from Apple's App Store or Google Play's offerings for Android phones, both of which are around 750,000 and counting.

And while Blackberry's app offerings include such popular ones as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, and even Angry Birds, conspicuous by their absence are Google Maps, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix and Instagram.

Although those apps are very likely to eventually feature in Blackberry's library, it will be one more instance of having to try to catch up to the iPhone/Android juggernaut.

While Blackberry has a loyal base of subscribers going back the era when a "Crackberry" was in the briefcase of every young, hard-charging businessman or professional -- and favored by more than a few government agencies and the occasional journalist -- for the company to survive it's going to have to expand past that into the general smartphone universe and catch the attention of users, particularly young ones who drive smartphone consumption and are always up for the latest bells and whistles.

It remains to be seen if Blackberry's bells and whistles are anything more than the muted cries of a company teetering on the edge of irrelevance.


Related Links
Satellite-based Internet technologies

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

HP cutting at least 850 jobs in Germany
San Francisco (AFP) Feb 1, 2013
US computer giant Hewlett-Packard said Friday it was closing its enterprise software operation in Ruesselsheim, Germany, in a move eliminating at least 850 jobs. The German facility employs some 1,100 people, but HP said 250 "will have the opportunity to transfer to HP partners or clients." The California firm, the largest maker of personal computers, said 850 positions will be eliminate ... read more

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Russia to Launch Lunar Mission in 2015

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Mission would drag asteroid to the moon

AAS Division For Planetary Sciences Issues Statement On Mars 2020 Program

Curiosity Maneuver Prepares for Drilling

Ridges on Mars suggest ancient flowing water

Changes on Mars Caused by Seasonal Thawing of CO2

Sierra Nevada Corporation and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company Partner On Dream Chaser Programs

NASA Launches Next-Gen Communications Satellite

NASA Takes Strides Forward to Launch Americans from U.S. Soil

Iran Takes First Step to Send Man to Space

Reshuffle for Tiangong

China to launch 20 spacecrafts in 2013

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

NASA to Send Inflatable Pod to International Space Station

ISS to get inflatable module

ESA workhorse to power NASA's Orion spacecraft

Competition Hopes To Fine Tune ISS Solar Array Shadowing

Site of space rocket launch to become home of S. Korea's space program

Payload preps continue for first Ariane 5 flights of 2013

NASA Wallops Rocket Mission January 29 Prepping for Future Projects

Russia's Troubled Rocket Cleared for Launch

TW Hydrae: There's more to astronomers' favorite planetary nursery than previously thought

The Origin And Maintenance Of A Retrograde Exoplanet

New Evidence Indicates Auroras Occur Outside Our Solar System

Glitch has space telescope shut down

NTU research embraces laser and sparks cool affair

Bioinspired fibers change color when stretched

Stanford Researchers Break Million-core Supercomputer Barrier

Scientists trick iron-eating bacteria into breathing electrons instead

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement