RIM had two big announcements today–it is changing its name to BlackBerry (and who didn’t sometimes call it that already ?) and it released its long awaited new smartphonse today, the touch-based Z10 and the keyboard equipped Q10. They are based completely on the QNX platform and makes BlackBerry (finally) competitive with the Apple iPhone and the best Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3. I won’t go into the particulars since they have been written about extensively (here’s a good recap by Infoworld), but suffice it to say the hardware and software deliver. Though it’s a nice phone, besides the increased pixel density, which isn’t really noticeable against the best devices, it’s not a game changer of a device. Success will be in the hands of the fashionistas and trendsetters, no matter how much we genius mobile analysts say. As I said in previous posts, I think it makes them relevant again, but I don’t see world domination in the cards anytime soon. And unless you live in the UK or Canada–you won’t be able to buy the Z10 until March and the Q10 until April. Building anticipation–I guess.
So what does it mean for the enterprise user? Though we will be coming out with an Impact Appraisal in a short bit–I thought I’d highlight some quick thoughts here:
1. There’s no need for a BES anymore–you can run it safely and securely through Microsoft EAS (sorry Notes users), though more robust MDM tools won’t be able to manage it.
2. With the use of BB Balance, it has one of the smoothest dual-persona capabilities. It can run all 70,000 apps securely in one or both of the device workspaces. You need the new BES 10 though to use it.
3. MDM of iOS and Android comes with the BES 10 service–though it will manage Apple devices as well as anyone else, it is lagging in Android management.
That’s about it–this wasn’t about you anyway. Like everyone else, BB is targeting the consumer market. It’s done a great job of providing capabilities for the enterprise though, but I would have liked to have seen it open up some MDM APIs to the main MDM vendors. Another thing–I would still like them to allow the devices to download apps directly from the various Android marketplaces. All things being equal-people buy the phones for the apps–and though the launch with 70,000 gets them in the game, having the ability to run native Android apps would have been the game changer.
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