RIM’s BlackBerry 10 Unveiled: Is This What the iPhone Is Up Against?

RIM today kicked off their BlackBerry World developer’s conference in Florida, and here they unveiled their “BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha developer testing device” for developers to test out the new BB10 interface.

Here’s what was unveiled in BlackBerry 10, seen as RIM’s chance to get back into the smartphone game. The Verge went hands on with the demo unit, and gave us the rundown on specs:

- the device looks like a mini version of the PlayBook
- 4.2 inch display; screen resolution of 1280 x 768
- built in NFC, micro USB port, micro HDMI port, microSIM tray, quad-band HSPA radio
- the OS on the dev units were “almost entirely the PlayBook OS, *not* BlackBerry 10″
- stripped down version of the OS just for devs: PlayBook settings and setup, the browser, and access to the camera. NO photo gallery app so you can’t see pictures taken unless you’re a dev
- “BB10 is being architected so that it can work as a touchscreen-only device.”
- touchscreen keyboard that learns as you type; ability to ‘flick’ words up into cursor field

RIM is also touting BlackBerry 10 Cascades, which resembles what we’ve seen in numerous iOS app menus such as the Twitter iPad app, and Sparrow on the iPhone.

Check out the following demo video RIM uploaded today:

TechCrunch reports on an interview they did with Vivek Bhardwaj, Head of Software Portfolio EMEA for RIM. It’s an interesting read because the answers Bhardwaj provides to TechCrunch are just confusing:

We’ve identified in this world that there is an audience that not only appreciates what we build today but has this desire to really connect to the certain things in their life that they place value on, the things they value in their smartphones, and the things they value on their tablets. We’ve found that it’s different to what an iOS or Android user would put value on.

We’re going to set the stage for how important relationships are to BlackBerry users, as well as how important communities, networking, and messaging are to them. We have this legacy of email and we’ll continue to expand, but we haven’t taken the time to explain to people why messaging is important to our audience.

We want to make sure people understand who we are as a company. It’s important to know that BlackBerry isn’t for everyone. I don’t mean that in an egotistical or selfish manner, but there’s an audience that appreciates and desires what we deliver as an experience.

We need to make sure we’re messaging to them first and foremost.

A focus on messaging? Is that what will turn this ship around?

It will be interesting to see the actual BB10 devices released in the Fall, and if they will be enough to turn the company around, instead of their focus on random flash mob marketing in front of Apple Stores.

What’s your take on BB10? Enough for you to make the switch from your iPhone?

[via The Verge]

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Michelle G

    Still couldn’t make me switch.  I have always felt that Blackberries are inefficient (go through seven menus to change one thing!), pretty much require you have a computer to use them, and if I want music on my phone, I have to buy a memory card, buy (or get) my music, put it on my memory card, then I can listen vs buying a song from the iTunes store.  Apple products, for me, just work.  No fuss, no mess, no update hassles, no my phone stops working because my software isn’t up to date.  I can count how many times I have had to reset or restore my iPhone on one thumb.  My husband, who has a  Blackberry, has to reset his phone five and six times a day.  No thanks RIM.  

  • joecmwu

    Typical fangirl who has no idea about the tech and what she’s talking about but still dare to make such a comment in public. Shame!

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Everyone has their right to an opinion, no need to hate her cuz you ain’t her.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5F27BFQXNBSTWC7BZ562NIDYTE Comics Fan

    Michelle G makes valid points.  joecmwu makes no point at all, just spewing anger and shame.  I guess he is an angry tech guy.  Good luck with your tubes and wires.

  • joecmwu

    I just stated the truth. There is no need to hate her while I don’t even know who she is.

  • joecmwu

    Wow! Thrilled, if I were her.

  • Brad

    Joecmwu, you’re the idiot making a rude comment towards her. She made all valid points. We are on an IPHONE blog. Posts are
    Typically going to be biased towards iPhones. Get used to it.

  • joecmwu

    Oh! So you mean this blog does not allow different opinions?

  • Kenji

    I had a Blackberry and was pulling out the battery many times a day also.  I have had the iphone for over a year and it is highly functional.  I don’t understand the tech and I don’t want to understand the tech.  I don’t know how the power steering works on my car, I don’t know how the toaster knows to shut off the heat, I don’t know what the roots in root beer look like either.  It’s nice for you that you do understand the tech, or claim to, but her comment is the same as mine.

  • draz

    No physical keyboard?

    Looks nice, can’t wait for the real reviews to come in

  • Jihn

    no matter how “amazing” and I use the term loosely bb10 may be, the biggest issue they have is that they will be competing against the newest iphone when it is released. the time for rim to enter the market with bb10 isn’t fall 2012 but long before the next iphone is released. to me rim is dead on arrival.

  • joecmwu

    That’s because there is no way you can pull out the battery from an iPhone.
    I don’t know what kind of BB device you owned and what you did with it, but myself own a BB Bold 9700 and never had problem with it. There is only one time when I had to pull out the battery because the interruption during app upgrade (it was human error).

    I dropped the BB more than 10 times in the past 2 years and some of them were harsh, but it survived without any case on it.

    I also own an iPhone 4 (I am replying your comment on my iPhone). I have a Ballistic case on it because I know it’s so fragile that won stand any drop from my waist high.

    I don’t like the iOS before it’s jailbroken. That’s all I need to tell you, and I think it’s bad enough. Apple has to think about it why majority of users want to jailbreak it in order to make it more useful.

  • Rio

    Joe she made a very valid point, that the iPhone just works. A lot of people that use iPhone use iPhone because they don’t care to know about how things work or want to play with all the settings.

    All you stated was that she was fangirl who doesn’t know anything.

    So people are fangirls/boys simply because the device they have fulfill of their needs?

  • Bob

    Never go Solo. Take a Wookie with you.

  • http://idevcreations.com Senators24

    Typical BlackBerry fan boy. I had to pull out my battery at least 5 times a day due to freezing for no apparent reason. Everything she said was valid. Keep in mind I’m a developer, and have “no clue” about the tech.

  • MiguelSmith28994

     Agreed, I’ve gone through 2 old curves, the bold 9700, and torch — I got a free torch and completely paid for plan through work, but I only survived 4 months on the poor quality interface, terrible controls, lack of media features, and inadequate screen even on the torch. This isn’t everyone’s experience, but it was so bad for me that I’d rather pay $700 and a monthly plan price for a usable experience…

  • djepsilon

    SO many blackberry owners say they own a blackberry because a “tactile keyboard is the way to go”. If BB10 goes to touchscreen, I wonder how many people blackberry will end up pissing off?

    …or will will said people just conveniently change their tune?

  • joecmwu

    You are a developer of? Let me guess, iOS? The statement about the battery is valid because it happened to you too? Very interesting. About 40% of people I know carry BB and I never heard any similar complain, but now 2 people here post comment against me saying they had the same issue. Wow!
    Calling me BB’s fanboy is a huge mistake. The BB I carry is my first one and it is company issued. I myself carry iPhone 4. Oh, it’s my first Apple product too. I had the same feeling about both RIM and Apple. Now, after carrying both of them for 2 years, I still have the same feeling about both.

    After all, every company device has it’s pros and cons. It really depends on preferences. You can choose whatever suites you. There is no need to attack or make unfair comments about other devices that you personally don’t like.

  • http://idevcreations.com Senators24

    ACTUALLY, the only reason I even bothered to waste my time in replying is because you put Michelle down, so before you type and say there is no need to attack anyone, do yourself, (and us) a favor and re-read what you type before you press enter.

    The statement about the BlackBerry OS freezing is true not only because I experianced it more then ever, but because almost everyone does. You have no clue how many times I see people taking out their BlackBerry batteries in frustration a day. Friends, family, even random strangers. It’s a DAILY occurrence, and if it doesn’t happen to you or anybody you know, well, RIM must have sent you guys the “good” devices, and the rest of the world the shitty ones.

    Having a company issued BlackBerry doesn’t help your situation in the slightest. Try purchasing your own, and then when it fails you will actually know how frustrating it actually can be.

    To answer your question, I develop not only for iOS, but for the BlackBerry platform, and for Android as well – not to mention, the SDK that RIM provides for development is quite the joke, hence why the BlackBerry store is a joke when it comes to applications.

  • joecmwu

    First of all, I always use the same ID when post comments here. Gary should remember me because sometimes I used very harsh words to comment about Apple or iDevices. There is nothing to hide and I standby my words.

    Again, it is very interesting that I have never heard of any such an experience with BB except here today in the past 2 years.

    You have no idea how important the company issued phone is. This is the main source I rely on for phone calls, text, and emails. The time I can spend on computer at work is less than 1 hour a day. If the phone failed, I would be screwed.

    I am sorry but I am not a dev guy so I have no idea about any of the SDK. No comment here.

    By the way, I don’t think it is waste of my time to express my personal opinions.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    I’m all for a healthy debate but I relate to her experience because my brother tells me the same issues he has had with his company issued BlackBerrys for the past 5 years.

  • http://idevcreations.com Senators24

    Right on. Good for you that you use the same ID every time. Hugh five buddy.
    Keep on trolling my friend, keep on trolling.

  • joecmwu

    I wonder if older devices involved here. The one I have is fairly newer model and had been upgraded to v. 6.0. Same as those people around me.

  • Kirk

    It looks nice. I can see this working very well with the playbook. I have an iPhone 4 myself but I can complement something good when I see it. Kudos RIM.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4KP5IV77ZQSD7NANUCAB53DAVY Rick

    5 years ago the iPhone was the 1st generation and it wasn’t very good.  The app store wasn’t around.  The newer Blackberry 9700 and 9900 series with touch screen and keyboards are not like the previous generation BB’s.

    I have had every generation of iPhone, a Samsung, and a Google Nexus. 

    I was a heavy user of the iphone 4 but I had to reset the phone at least a few times a day by holding down the home button because the iphone just stopped working.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4KP5IV77ZQSD7NANUCAB53DAVY Rick

    You’re talking older generation like the iphone 3GS which I had to reset even more than the iphone 4.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4KP5IV77ZQSD7NANUCAB53DAVY Rick

    BB has said they will be coming out with a keyboard version of the new BB10 devices next year.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4KP5IV77ZQSD7NANUCAB53DAVY Rick

    Actually, the US government is still a huge customer of RIM’s because of security and since BB is going after the business user first when they upgrade to a newer BB they will get the newer BB London.    

    BB is not dead and I don’t know why people want a Canadian tech company who have over 13,000 employees paying taxes into Canada to lose their jobs?  Competition is good for consumers and the economy.

  • Rio

    Joe, this blog welcomes everyone opinion, when backed up by reason. 

  • D An

    finally you decided to join others, to follow iPhone

  • Pchez510

    Not for all the tea in China, and surrounding areas. And I live in RIM’s backyard!!

  • Caper7ca

    I had a BB Torch for work and an iPhone 3GS. I think colleagues got tired of me commenting on how “everything that is easy to do on a iPhone is difficult to do on. bB” rant. This includes using it to make a phone call. Well I’m giving the BB back as I haven’t used it in over a month. Settings are buried and having the press the BB menu button on an app for the simplest function is a hassle and not at all intuitive. iPhones are just simple and get the job done. Trying giving a BB to a three year old and see how long before they smash it – an iPhone and they quiet for hours :). Looking forward to finally upgrading my 3GS to a 5 when it comes out.

  • Leet

    Alright, I’ve owned a Curve 8900,9300 also a Torch, and Bold 9900, and 9790
    iPhone 3G,4 and 4S

    I can honestly say none of those phones were even as good as my iPhone 3G, right off the bat I was doing multiple Resets a day with all my blackberrys but with every iPhone I’ve ever had combined resets are single digits

    And to be honest the only reason I was ever on a blackberry was for the BBM feature…Blackberrys have many issues I frustrates me to see you say your bold has rarely crashed it’s just impossible anyone I know who’s ever had a blackberry pulled that battery out religiously

    I’m not saying iPhones are perfect but they are 10x any phone RIM has ever made

  • Leet

    It*

  • Kenji

    It was a Pearl something.  8230?   I found it a harrowing experience to use.  It would freeze up and stop working several times a day, I missed most of my incoming calls.  I took it to tech support, had the software updated multiple times, a time consuming and unproductive experience.  I came to detest BB, frankly. 

    And yet I would have bought a newer one had not my friends who are web developers told me to save a lot of grief and just get the iPhone because it is slick, well thought out and convenient.  Have never had any reason to jailbreak it.  I use it for everything, games, music recording, notes, tunes and it even takes and makes phone calls, how unlike my BB Pearl.