RIM is banking everything on the launch of BlackBerry 10. This is the device that will get them back in the game. The first BlackBerry 10 smartphone might be revealed next week, but a recent leak may have given us our first look at the device.
Italian BlackBerry fan site, BlackBerryItalia, recently got a hold of some images they claim to be of the new BlackBerry L-series handset. It will most likely be the first handset to feature BlackBerry 10 early next year. Let's take a look, shall we?
Upon first inspection, the supposed "Savior of RIM" is not all that impressive. It's a smartphone... and that's it. The design doesn't seem far too removed from what we've become used to in the Android and iOS dominated market. It's not a bad thing, but a little differentiation couldn't hurt either.
The true test, like with all smartphones, will come when we finally get a good luck at the operating system. Software sells hardware and RIM has to convince people that BlackBerry 10 is good for enterprise and entertainment.
We'll find out next week if RIM can recapture their old mojo at the BlackBerry Jam Americas event in San Jose. This is do or die time at the company and any screw up could be costly. Apple is raking in the dough with the iPhone 5 and Samsung is leading the Android pack. Microsoft is also showing off impressive hardware and software with the Nokia Lumia 920.
Unfortunately, Microsoft and RIM are both in same boat here. They failed to establish themselves at the beginning of the smartphone race and are paying dearly for it. Both are offering competent alternatives to Android and iOS, but it may be too late. Relevancy fades quickly in the smartphone market, and RIM needs to prove they have what it takes to stay in the game.
At least Microsoft and RIM signed a patent deal today. Even if BlackBerry 10 flops, Microsoft will get some licensing fees out of it.[h/t: CrackBerry]