BlackBerry Offers Peek at Crucial Upgrade

And at least one reviewer is underwhelmed

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 25, 2012 2:12 PM CDT

(Newser) – RIM today offered a peek to developers of its all-important BlackBerry 10, which is due to hit shelves in early 2013. Or, as CTV News puts it, the company began "fighting for its life." That's how great the stakes are for RIM as it struggles for relevancy in the smartphone market. “They’ve put all their hopes, all their dreams into this one product, one platform," says one analyst. "If it fails to grab customers’ attention, there’s not a whole lot behind it for RIM to try again."

The phone will have a new operating system, and RIM is stressing Flow, a new "navigation theme" designed to make it easier to multitask and move between apps, writes Jessica Dolcourt at CNET. She found a test run to be a little clunky, but says RIM will surely improve it after getting feedback from developers. Even so, customers can probably expect a learning curve. At Gizmodo, Brian Barrett says this does indeed seem like a "very competent" OS. But he's underwhelmed. The upgrades seem tailored to a narrow business niche (texting in multiple languages, for instance), not everyday users. "It looks like it does some things very well—and that they're not the things you'd care about." As for FLOW, it could be a major battery drain, he writes.

Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of Research in Motion, speaks about the new BlackBerry 10 at the BlackBerry Jam Americas conference in San Jose, Calif.
Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of Research in Motion, speaks about the new BlackBerry 10 at the BlackBerry Jam Americas conference in San Jose, Calif.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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