One of the most provoking statements I heard during the investors call yesterday was made by Thorsten Heins. He was talking about the unfortunate but necessary BlackBerry 10 launch delay and that RIM no longer thought it could make the back to school and holiday season. This difficult decision during their platform transition was due to the unexpected complexity of combining the vast amounts of code from all directions for BlackBerry 10 features. He insisted that this is not because of the lack of quality of the features but the fact that they are relentlessly focused on quality and reliability and Heins “refuses to ship anything less than an outstanding BlackBerry 10 Platform.”
He then made the statement that really had me scratching my head. At about 9 minutes into the call he said that when discussing their new rollout plan with carriers globally they found that some actually preferred the Q1 2013 launch date. He said this was because that fits with their global LTE launches which should come online then. I am really curious to learn who these carriers are especially because carriers in the US are going whole hog on LTE even before their networks are even fully live. Still it is an angle that I did not think of before.
Thorsten also confirmed that the initial BlackBerry 10 launch portfolio will be focused on the premium portfolio of Touch and Full QWERTY devices with the lower and mid markets covered by BlackBerry 7. They will then phase out BlackBerry 7 as they bring the full BlackBerry 10 family to market.