With Research In Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY ) unveiling its new BB10 tomorrow, CEO Thorsten Heins and team continue to shed light on what BlackBerry users can expect, lending some credibility to RIM's meteoric jump in stock price. Since Heins let the BB10 cat out of the bag in November, RIM's share price has doubled, leaving some to wonder if investors have gotten a little ahead of themselves.
Buying on speculation alone, be it talk of a possible takeover or hopes for the wondrous new BB10 OS, is a scary proposition. But to RIM's credit, its given shareholders some tangible reasons for getting excited over the last few weeks, and yesterday's announcement should add a bit of fuel to the RIM fire.
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Other than some select corporate and government clients, the general public has had to rely on beta-testing rumors and selected feedback to get a sense for RIM's BB10 OS and its new smartphones. Granted, most of the news from the beta group has been good, but secondhand data only goes so far.
As discussed in a recent article, RIM has given proponents plenty to get excited about in the past week alone. According to a Jefferies analyst, RIM will likely make its BlackBerry email an option for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) iPhone users and the plethora of smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) Android OS. Beyond the obvious flexibility for RIM's customers to use their personal phones in the workplace, making BlackBerry email available (should it come to pass) to Apple and its 51% domestic market share customer base -- as welll as Google's world-dominating Android OS users -- would speak volumes about RIM's new outlook.
There was a time when the notion of RIM working with Google and Apple, in any fashion, would have been unthinkable. But the world of mobile computing has changed, and so has RIM.
Its new BB10 mobile payment solution, Secure Element Manager, was recently blessed by Visa (NYSE: V ) , and the second of RIM's developer "port-a-thons" netted some 19,000 apps, and that was in addition to the 15,000 announced the week before. Of course, not all those apps will pass muster with RIM engineers, but suffice it to say BB10 won't be short on goodies, a point of contention for earlier BlackBerrys.
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The possibility of making RIM's secure email available to "the enemies," developing new payment solutions, apps, and receiving a blessing from virtually all the wireless carriers lay a pretty solid foundation for BB10's rollout. Now, according to an announcement from CMO Frank Boulben, BB10 will offer instant access to top-flight music and videos via its BlackBerry World store.
As per the press release, RIM has partnered with some serious music and video heavyweights, too. Warner Bros., MGM, Disney, CBS. The list goes on and on. Providing smartphone users with a complete, mobile experience isn't just a good idea -- it's a necessity. And more than the availability of top-flight videos and tunes, this latest news -- making the BB10 OS available for Apple and Android users and addressing concerns about the number of apps -- speaks volumes about the direction of RIM going forward.
The lines between personal and business smartphone use are blurring, and not acknowledging iOS, Android, or smartphone users' preferences would have been fatal. But if earlier announcements weren't proof enough, RIM's new entertainment alternatives make it clear: The world it once dominated looks a lot different than it did even a year or two ago, and RIM gets it.
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