BlackBerry 10, RIM's last chance at staying relevant, won't be available until early next year. Until then, the press and analysts can only anxiously wait to see how the new OS and handsets perform. That was the case at least until RIM invited the most impartial of critics, die hard BlackBerry fans, to try out the new devices.
RIM recently invited 20 of its "BlackBerry Elite Fans" to its HQ to test out the BlackBerry 10 OS and handset. If you were worried about the future of the OS, don't. The fans are obviously not bias in any way and deliver an approving critique of the OS devoid of any complaints. It's obvious that RIM has something special on their hands here.
My best attempts at sarcasm aside, RIM really needs this to be a hit. Putting it in the hands of the fans first is a good move. These folks can now deliver the good news to the RIM faithful the world over. They might even be able to bring back a few of the lost sheep that have moved to the greener pastures of iOS or Android.
Even though they are fans, the positive comments on BlackBerry 10 seems to indicate that RIM will at least be doing right by its fan and long time users. Unfortunately, that's just not going to cut it anymore. RIM needs to get back into the mainstream again at a time where iPhone and Android fever is at an all time high. The company also has to deal with the slowly rising star that is Windows Phone 8.
All of this leads to one very simple question - will RIM survive 2013? The fans seem to think so with one even saying BB10 is a "game changer." Everybody else may think differently, however, and that will make or break RIM going into the new year.