When Alec Saunders and Chris Smith got on stage at BlackBerry 10 Jam 2012 in May they sang “The Waiting is the Hardest Part.” I thought we knew what that meant with RIM reiterating until a few days ago that BlackBerry 10 would be the savior platform transition coming later this year. Now Thorsten Heins has broken the news that the waiting has been delayed, yet again, to Q1 of 2013. That means 6-9 months of waiting which has demoralized many of the BlackBerry faithful. I am not sure what it has done to you but today will go down as a sad and disappointing day in BlackBerry history.
If you ask me why I have used a BlackBerry over any other device for the last decade or so there are so many reasons I could give. Truthfully no other platform offers the “BlackBerry Flow” that many of us cling to. Heins is taking the high road in ensuring that we are not disappointed by a half baked release of BlackBerry 10 but we cannot help but feel disappointed by yet another delay in its launch.
Heins reiterated during the earnings call that BlackBerry 10 is a platform for RIM to create a whole new future. He plans on making RIM a lean machine that is laser focused on delivering an awesome BlackBerry 10 experience. The waiting is painful but the signs are pointing to an awesome platform that will embody many of the features we love about our current BlackBerry handhelds. He is correct in ensuring that BlackBerry 10 is “do or die” for RIM and they have to get it right out the door. That means that while this decision is the correct one for RIM it will be a bitter pill to swallow.
I have been contacted by many devs today asking about BlackBerry 10 and if they should stick to the platform. They have been on a high since BlackBerry World and the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour with RIM promising a platform that was coming soon and had the potential to take the mobile world by storm. That has not fundamentally changed but what Heins has made clear is that BlackBerry 7 will have to hold out as RIM preps their new “Mobile Computing” platform.
The next 6-9 months are going to be extremely painful for RIM and their users. Our dedication will be tested yet again as RIM goes through another quarter of losses in Q2 of fiscal 2013. The teams I have spoken to at RIM since the announcement assure me that RIM is still wholly dedicated to delivering an awesome BlackBerry 10 experience and they need our help to make it a success. RIM is going to take a beating from the press and wall street for the rest of 2012 but they are determined to come out ahead in 2013. They have $2.2 billion in the bank and bank guarantees to give them the cash to fuel their roadmap and hopefully that will be enough for them to reach their goals. RIM’s cash flow is still coming in from BlackBerry 7 devices especially in international markets which will hopefully hold them out during this transition. Now more than ever they need to make sure that BlackBerry 10 is the platform and hardware that will be strong enough to pull them out of this spiral.
No one knows how this story will play out but I wanted to reach out to all of our readers and ask you what you make of RIM’s latest announcements. Will RIM be able to trim themselves down to a lean mean startup and deliver a BlackBerry 10 experience that will embody all of what we expect in a BlackBerry with a platform that can thrive for the next 10 years? Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think the next year holds in store for RIM and the future of BlackBerrys.