BlackBerry Struggles in the Sea of Advancements at MWC
Those waiting for something new and impressive from RIM will have to wait until BB10 arrives.
According to Steve Levy, CEO of enterprise mobile app platform company Verivo, BlackBerry is still viewed as the safest by IT professionals. However, there's been an increasing number of companies who are allowing employees to 'BYOD' or Bring your Own Device. If those running the IT department had their way, they would likely only support once device: the BlackBerry.
The problem is that those IT advocates really have no way to help push greater RIM adoption. Even though the company makes most of its revenue from smartphones, RIM did not announce anything new at MWC 2012, and there's going to be a lot of pressure from manufacturers like Nokia this year who are trying to reestablish their global position. The increasing volume of Android devices and Apple's stable position means RIM is likely only to fall behind.
Some of us expected RIM to unveil its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, but now we know that's not going to happen until late 2012. Until then, the BlackBerry 7 lineup, which was released last year, is the only thing the company can hawk. On the tablet front, RIM is selling the PlayBook in many cases at prices less than half of the launch at $500. Unless something dramatically changes, the PlayBook line looks destined to go the way of the TouchPad.
The only thing noteworthy at RIM's MWC booth was the QNX-based Porsche Carrera 911 concept car. First demoed at CES, it's meant to demonstrate the capabilities of QNX and future automotive applications. Inside are three PlayBooks, one for navigation (center console), while the other two are mounted on the back seats as media players. All three devices are networked, so you can control the rear content from the center console.
For those not in the know, QNX is already used by brands like Porsche, Audi, and BMW. It's also is the basis for the PlayBook OS and the upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS. Unfortunately, this specific media-focused application of QNX is only a concept car. You can't actually walk into a dealership and get a Carrera 911 all decked out with the following features (source: Cnet):
- Voice recognition software that allows you to navigate to a location or open a Web site on your center console
- Voice calls in stereo sound via Bose speakers
- Video calling with PlayBook tablets in the back seat
- NFC tags to connect your smartphone and navigation system via BlackBerry Bridge
- Wireless 3G router in the dashboard provides Internet connectivity