Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What to Expect from RIM's BlackBerry?

The future still shines bright for Research in Motion (RIM) as it continues to drive products and solutions that the consumers will benefit and enjoy.

Coming from a successful business in Indonesia and India, RIM is now looking into focusing its efforts in propagating their products in the Philippines to eventually get a significant portion of market share in the country's smartphone industry.

As they drive down the countryside, here are some of the things we can expect from RIM's BlackBerry:

New devices
Aside from the BlackBerry PlayBook which is totally a new product segment, RIM has announced several new devices such as the BlackBerry 9900 (an upgrade of BlackBerry 9700/9780, this time with a touch screen) as well as the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and 9860 (BlackBerry Torch 9800's successors). Of course it will be carrying the BB OS 7 and will have a sleeker body, faster processor plus bigger storage space. In addition, it will also have RIM's Liquid Graphics technology, which uses a dedicated graphics processor for smoother scrolling, zooming and panning.

Native BB PlayBook applications
The biggest frustrations people have about the PlayBook is the lack of native applications like e-mail, calendar, and contact list. RIM has announced that they are indeed working on a software upgrade that will have these functionalities. For the meantime, we can maximize the PlayBook's Bridge feature, which allows us to control our messages, appointments and contacts on the PlayBook after synchronization with a BlackBerry smartphone.

BlackBerry Expert Centers
Strategically located in Manila, Davao, and Cebu, RIM has opened 9 BlackBerry Expert Centers in the country to handle the after sales support of BlackBerry devices. As RIM sees the importance of communication with families and friends, a service unit will be provided when we have our devices upgraded or repaired. In addition to this, RIM has highlighted that once sales grow and there's a need for more centers, they will definitely be ready to provide additional services to consumers.

Not to mention, BlackBerry devices now come with an extended warranty of 24 months. New buyers will automatically get this, while previous owners who still have the official receipt and bought their units from official channels may extend the warranty for free.

Pinoy-centered applications
RIM believes in quality versus quantity. Although the number of apps available for BlackBerry devices may seem few, RIM is continuously opening opportunities for developers to come up with usable applications. Just recently, they have partnered with a local software developing company named Novare, which is seen to produce more customized applications catered us Filipinos.

BlackBerry on 4G
Coping up with its competitors, RIM has plans of coming up with a BlackBerry that runs on 4G. As such, the smartphones will be capable of speeds up to nearly four times the network speed capability of previous models, so we can send emails, chat, and surf even faster.

Some of us may find these expectations a bit late in the current mobile race, but RIM is confident that their innovations will bring BlackBerry a notch higher and be able to serve more consumers who are leaned towards social networking, connectivity, and ubiquity.

This article is my twenty-eighth contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of the Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on August 15, 2011 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here.


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