Poor RIM, they have been nothing but down lately. The company is hoping to make a turnaround in a big way with their new handset release. Developers will find out before anybody else if their new product could truly turn the company's fortunes around.
Bloomberg is reporting that developers will be receiving RIM BlackBerry prototypes in May. About 2,000 of the devices will end up in the hands of developers at the BlackBerry Jam conference in Orlando, Florida. Alec Saunders, RIM's vice-president of developer relations, said it's a "huge step on our path to eventually launching BB10."
This is coming on the news that Apple is finally selling more iPhones than BlackBerry devices in Canada. While that was definitely a major blow for the company, they have been on the downward spiral for a few years now.
In January, RIM hired a new CEO after the two former CEOs stepped down after an embarrassing global outage of BlackBerry phones that affected millions of users. To make matters worse, RIM is now facing a class action lawsuit for those same outages.
As perhaps a way to make up for all of this, RIM offered free apps, announced new products and even created a super hero team to combat the negative press. It doesn't really seem that none of it is working. A recent study of mobile development trends has BlackBerry developer interest even below that of Windows Phone.
From all this negativity, it's obvious that RIM needs a hit to get back in the game and they're hoping that BlackBerry 10 is that hit. We got our first look at the device at the beginning of February. The BB10 from the image looks like your average touch-interface smartphone. If they're hoping to get back into the game, they had better bring something better than just improved hardware. They need the OS and software in the form of apps to prove they can still compete in a world that already has iOS, Android and Windows 7 (soon to be Windows 8 phone) all vying for market supremacy.
Regardless, I'm a "glass half-full" kind of guy and I still have a soft spot in my heart for my old BlackBerry phone. It had one of the best QWERTY keyboards of any mobile device on the market. Even if the new BlackBerry is a bust, they can always sell, right?