Research-in-Motion (RIM) has been rather struggling with its BlackBerry handsets. With Apple and Android’s onslaught into the smartphone market, BB has been steadily losing its share. However, the company is quite hopeful with its upcoming BB 10 device and for the right reasons. Now RIM has announced that it will hand out 2,000 prototypes using BlackBerry 10 to the developers at the BlackBerry Jam Conference in May.
The company intends to hand out the prototypes because it hopes that it will help in the development of the software. According to Alec Saunders, RIM’s vice president of developer relations, ‘It’s tangible evidence of the company making progress to finally shipping the device.’
But it will be hard to gauge the actual UI and other details of the BB10 handset when it releases. That is because the prototypes that will be handed to the developers will be quite different from the final product and they are meant simply to enable the developers to create apps for upcoming BlackBerry devices.
RIM hasn’t been particularly successful on the apps front. Its tablet, PlayBook, has only 10,000 apps available. This is in stark contrast to the hundreds of thousands of apps of other smartphone vendors.
But with all this aside, RIM is hoping for a real come-back with a BB 10 handset. This is because BlackBerry 10 has already been hailed as a beautiful piece of software and a significant step forward in the right direction. But the handset is still to come later this year and one wonders if RIM would be too late to make a difference when it hits the market. Especially since the release date of the next-generation iPhone also fall somewhere in Q3.