My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Blackberry 10 OS and smartphones for Global Launch on January 30 2013AD - RIM's The Man with the Iron Fist needs a Solid Tablet Partner

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blackberry 10 OS and smartphones for Global Launch on January 30 2013AD - RIM's The Man with the Iron Fist needs a Solid Tablet Partner

“This is not a toy; it’s a mobile computing and production tool.”

Quote from BlackBerry’s Senior Manager of Portfolio Management in Latin America Maria Alejandra Perez-Rincon on October 28th 2012 in the Jamaica Observer

Despite media mutterings to the contrary, RIM (Research in Motion) is not completely dead.

Granted, within the US of A, the BB is now a distant memory according to the statistics of ComScore as noted in the article “Latest Smartphone stats: Apple gaining ground on Samsung”, published October 2, 2012 11:23 AM PDT by Zack Whittaker, CNET News; stats worthy of their own analysis article! But RIM, the company that’s near Death’s Door, is poised to make a comeback.

This as they’ve announced the upcoming Global Launch of Blackberry OS 10 on January 30th 2013AD sporting some much improved hardware on its two (2) new Smartphone offerings as reported by CNET Reporter Roger Cheng in “BlackBerry 10 will launch on January 30, RIM says”, published November 12, 2012 4:22 AM PST by Roger Cheng, CNET News and “RIM to launch BlackBerry 10 on Jan 30”, published Monday, November 12, 2012 10:04 AM, The Jamaica Observer.

February 2013AD seems to be the month that the new gear with the super-secure Blackberry OS (actually QNX OS!) from the Ontario, Canada Telecom Equiptment maker will be in the hands of many after the Global Launch as stated in the article “First BlackBerry 10 smartphones available in February - report”, published November 13, 2012 2:24 PM PST by Roger Cheng, CNET News.

RIM’s Blackberry 10 OS and as-yet named Smartphone already has US and Canadian FIPS (Federal Information Publishing Standard) 140-2 Certification. Certification which neither Apple nor Google Android smartphones, despite their popularity with the masses, have ever been able to achieve as noted in “BlackBerry 10 wins U.S. security clearance ahead of launch”, published November 8, 2012 1:59 AM PST by Zack Whittaker, CNET News.

Simply put, FIPS 140-2 Certification means heavy encryption for BB Messenger and email that even the Telecom Providers themselves cannot crack, save for getting a hold of your Blackberry. In a world where Privacy is at a premium and Big Brother is always watching, this is a welcome breath of fresh air in the Smartphone community: a Smartphone certified to be secure and private and never jail broken.

So highly rated is the FIPS 140-20 Certification that the members of the SS (Secret Service) i.e. CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and US and Canadian Government Officials can use the RIM’s Smartphone for super secure, heavily encrypted communications over Public Telecom Provider Networks.

For those of you folks with rather short memories, this is the same legendary Encryption that made the BB so secure that even India and Saudi Arabia banned them in August 2010 as noted in my blog article entitled “BlackBerry and India - Shiva the Destroyer”.  The fear of terrorists having access to super secure communications is well founded and Blackberry had to make concessions in order to continue having the Saudi Arabian Government as a customer.

Already, as part of their return to fighting form, the new Smartphone with its Blackberry 10 OS, which is really the QNX OS, is currently with fifty (50) Telecom Providers as stated in the article “RIM: Over 50 carriers testing BlackBerry 10 now”, published October 31, 2012 11:25 AM PDT by Roger Cheng, CNET News.  This is for testing and certification as part of the preparation for a Global Launch in 2013AD!

A Worldwide bid to gain approval of the respective Governments to launch in their respective markets, desirous of a super-secure Work Tool and communication Smartphone that guarantees privacy but fearful of the poor security on Apple iPhones and Google Android Phones. A definitive replay of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) for Blackberry!

This will be the selling point to Governments, Corporate and Enterprise for the new Blackberry 10 OS and the pair of Smartphone as RIM rises from the dead like Lazarus.

A nearly bankrupt company in May 2012 thanks to its arrogance due to not adjusting to the shifting tastes within the Corporate and Enterprise World as reported in my blog article entitled “RIM filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - The Last of the Mohicans Blackberry as Android Borne Supremacy Worldwide Continues”,  Blackberry 10 OS marks a serious turning point for the Blackberry brand and RIM. 

Leadership of the new CEO Thorsten Heins is behind this new direction towards securing a Third spot placing in Global Smartphone sales in a bold appeal to Developers to stick with them as noted in “RIM CEO Heins to developers: We have a 'clear shot' at No. 3”, published September 25, 2012 12:41 PM PDT, by Casey Newton, CNET News.

CEO Thorsten Heins has been CEO from January 2012, after the RIM Board had pushed co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie aside due to the company’s declining performance. The accelerated hardware had already been revealed earlier in October 2012 and it’s definitely geared to the Blackberry Crowd looking for a Blackberry. It has some of the styling of its more dominant Smartphone rivals yet is able to get work done securely.

But as far back as the Fourth Quarter of 2011, RIM had revealed the possible hardware direction with their somewhat sub-par 1.2 GHz Processor smartphones running the super-secure QNX OS in my blog article entitled “RIM Blackberry steps up to 1.2GHz and Faster Browser - QNX and Qualcomm Voyage of the Dawn Treader”.

The above quote from BlackBerry’s Senior Manager of Portfolio Management in Latin America Maria Alejandra Perez-Rincon on October 28th 2012 in the Jamaica Observer article “RIM takes aim at rivals with BlackBerry 10”, published Sunday, October 28, 2012 BY PAUL RODGERS Business Editor, The Jamaica Observer pretty much sums up RIM’s stance on its smartphones competitors: they’re competitors smartphones are toys, not work tools as is the new Blackberry 10, which is really the QNX OS.

So taking these “toys” and making them useful productivity tools is obviously the focus of RIM; it seems they’re basically hedging their comeback on the Corporate and Enterprise World already used to the Blackberry falling in love with them again.

Features such as:

1.      An improved Calendar Organizer
2.      Faster Quad-Core Processor
4.      The ability to (gasp!) finally use the Web Browser and access the full Internet
5.      Improved 8 Megapixel Camera (here’s hoping!!)
6.      Camera tech that can fix you photos post-capture
8.      Native Support for Microsoft Office 
9.      Apps from Google Play Store certified as Secure enough to work in the QNX OS
10.  Built into the keyboard with Multilingual support and autocorrect
11.  Improved Battery life (1 week on a single charge!)

All while getting productive work done and simple enough with a Keyboard option to operate!
These improvements on the new version the Blackberry hardware that’ll be running Blackberry OS 10 are all work related. A trade in program to allow persons to purchase the new Blackberry at a reduced prices once you hand in your old Blackberry would certainly make the transition that much easier, rewarding the Blackberry faithful for their loyalty!

RIM, it seemed, was taking its time to observe the new trend brought upon the market by the Apple iPhone in 2007. RIM’s R&D have basically concluded that now in 2013AD, some six (6) year on, the Corporate and Enterprise World want to have some of the styling that its Smartphone rivals possess as per the Geezam blog article entitled “30% Blackberry Blackout by Corporate and Enterprise – Bring Your Favourite Gear” but with significantly better security.

The novelty of a responsive Capacitive Touch Screen been seen by Blackberry merely a hardware upgrade. Blackberry has taken its cue from its Corporate and Business partner’s demands for Blackberry as suggested by the quote from RIM's Regional Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, Wes Nicol: “BlackBerry 10 has been specifically designed for BlackBerry People”.

The CEO Thorsten Heins also echoes this sentiment of making a Smartphone for the Blackberry Crowd, very much still a force in Jamaica and the Caribbean, quote: “Thanks to our strong partnerships with global carriers and a growing ecosystem of developers, we believe our customers will have the best experience possible with BlackBerry 10. We are looking forward to getting BlackBerry 10 in the hands of our customers around the world.”

Indeed, a theme akin to Apple and its Apple iPhone for its iSheep as Apple Fanboys are sometimes called. In a way, Blackberry 10 OS and the new smartphones are for the true devotees of Blackberry aka Black Sheep who’ve been pining away for a Smartphone they can be proud to be seen in the US in Public.

Strangely enough, thanks to their mass rejection in the US, the Developing World Countries such a Latin American and the Caribbean, especially in Jamaica, love the Blackberry to bits for its BB Messenger and solid yet simple design as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Android smartphones may be king in 2015AD, but RIM Blackberry quality shines”.

Blackberry, to their credit, despite their financial troubles, is being defended by the likes of Barack Obama, President of the United States of America who totes about with his Blackberry everywhere and on becoming President had famously refused to relieve himself of is as noted in
Obama's BlackBerry brings personal safety risks”, published February 12, 2009 7:27 AM PST by Chris Soghoian, CNET News.

CBS Newscaster and long-time Blackberry user Bob Schieffer offers an admonition to BB users to keep their chin up as suggested in the article “A cure for BlackBerry owners who feel like black sheep”, published October 21, 2012 10:22 AM PDT by Steven Musil, CNET News.

One is grudgingly inclined to agree, as even the newly minted Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 smartphones are more geared towards productive with Microsoft Word installed and twinned (synchable) with the now red hot Microsoft Surface Tablet as stated in my blog article entitled Nokia launches the Lumia 820 and 920 - Lumia prostituting with the Microsoft Surface Tablet in a Resident Evil Retribution 3D”.

Even the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) under the guidance of Minister of Science, Technology Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell is opting to possibly go with the solution on offer by Microsoft in the form of their Microsoft Tablet and Nokia Lumia smartphones as prognosticated in my blog article entitled GOJ Parliamentarians upgraded to Microsoft Surface Tablets and GovNET Wide Area Network - Minister Paulwell efforts to reduce paper may accelerate Jamaican Tablet Adoption”.

This common theme of productive work is an indication that the older Managers (ages 46 to 90) in the Corporate World are slowly coming around towards the new trend among its younger Generation X (29 to 45) Middle Management towards smartphones and Tablets. Millennial (18-28), however, are really the ones that are adopting the Smartphone and Tablet trend purely for on-the-go Entertainment reasons.

This is a trend I’ve observed among the staff here at ACCENT Marketing Limited located in the Baxter Building in New Kingston as observed in my blog article entitled “Blackberry popularity wanes as Jamaicans go smartphones - Android and Apple's Smartphone Revolution”. ACCENT Marketing Limited staff is a mixture of Generation X (29 to 45) Middle Management and TES (Technical Engagement Specialists) who are mostly Millennial (18-28).

This prompted me to make the connection with the OUR (Office of Utility Regulation) Statistic that indicates a 138% increase in Wired and Wireless Broadband Internet usage as stated in my blog article entitledOUR Telecom Provider Stats indicate JA$14 billion profit for Second Quarter of 2011 - Telecom Providers Stacking up all Faces on the Argo Video Calling and VoIP on smartphones”. These statistics compare the Second Quarter of 2011 is compared to the Second Quarter of 2010.

So will the newly minted as yet named smartphone(s) with the Spy-grade Blackberry 10 OS from RIM be a hit where Blackberry 7 OS failed?

If they have the above plus an improved Apps Store and they make a solid splash at CES 2012, then success is already in the oven baking. Hopefully along with a new Blackberry OS 10 and improved hardware, they will also debut a new Tablet also based on QNX but superior to the failed as opined in my Geezam blog article entitled “RIM’s PlayBook needs to become a Real Tablet”.

The strength of their QNX OS allowed them to pass muster with the US and Canadian Government with the FIPS 140-20 Certification.  FIPS 140-20 Certification is a bold statement; it says RIM’s Blackberry 10 OS has a super secure Smartphone with Privacy guaranteed in a World gone Social Networking. Approval by Telecom Providers worldwide is now the next hurdle to be breached in a bid for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) and to regain Corporate and Enterprise approval.

BlackBerry’s Senior Manager of Portfolio Management in Latin America Maria Alejandra Perez-Rincon is defiant in her proclamation: This is NOT a toy; this is The Man with the Iron Fists (2012)! All the new Blackberry 10 OS and au pair of smartphones, which makes now needs is a solid Tablet design, just like the Microsoft Surface and the Nokia Lumia series of smartphones.

At that point, a solid comeback with the Corporate and Enterprise World and the fickle Mass Market will, like Black Sheep, surely follow.