The leak of RIM BlackBerry roadmap last week shed little light on when the first two BlackBerry 10 (BB10) devices will arrive. However, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins revealed that the first full-touch BB10 device will be launched in January with a QWERTY device following closely behind.
Heins shared the information during an exclusive Q&A session with CIO where he went to great lengths to explain the reasons behind the delayed launch of BB10 devices, the current state of the company and how he will "reinstall faith in RIM".
On the delayed launch of BB10, Heins shared that he was disappointed to push the date to Q1 2013 but he had to make a decision on whether to rush it out earlier, fix the quality issues later, or spend more time to refine it to be of high quality. Apparently, the software groups were overwhelmed by integration efforts while putting together the various feature components and building blocks to build the first main release.
When queried on the company's falling market share in the mobile space, Heins admitted that the company's success with full-touch screen devices was rather limited. In addition, he stated that RIM is not heavily involved in the full-touch screen market yet, and that one of his goals now is to win back market share by going into that market segment.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins - "That is what our first BlackBerry 10 product is about. Then our second product is going to be a QWERTY device, following closely behind that full-touch device. So we need this product to actually enter into the full touch market and then also to go after the BYOD segment in the enterprise as that moves to full touch."
One of the key factors in ensuring the success of a mobile operating system is the app ecosystem, and BB10 seems to be gaining momentum with app developers. At BlackBerry 10 Jam Singapore held yesterday, RIM announced that the number of app vendors at BlackBerry App World grew by 254% at the end of 2011. Moreover, the number of app submissions increased 226% last year. This makes the BlackBerry app vendor community the fastest growing in the mobile space in terms of new-to-existing app ratio.