Appearing at his first public event since becoming CEO of Research in Motion, Thorstein Heins confirmed today the company’s BlackBerry 10 operating system will make its debut later this year.
In addition, Heins reaffirmed RIM’s commitment to the developercommunity by announcing plans to give away over 25,000 PlayBook tabletsto developers at events like hackathons.
In a recent interview withITBusiness.ca, IDC Canada analyst Krista Napier said RIM should focuson developing more enterprise apps for the PlayBook because the appmarket for tablets is still very consumer focused, making theenterprise app space ripe for growth potential. PlayBook OS 2.0 isscheduled for release this month.
Heins used today’s DevCon event to deliver a pep talk on RIM’s futurefortunes, reminding the 2,000 people in the crowd that RIM is still thetop selling smartphone in countries outside North America, includingthe Netherlands, Spain, UK, South Africa and Saudi Arabia (althoughsome of those are in the prepaid service category only).
To expand its sales further, RIM will target the one billion cell phoneusers who haven’t upgraded to smartphones in markets like Europe, theMiddle East and Asia, Heins added.
The speech from Heins couldn’t be more timely as recent research showsRIM continues to lose smartphone market share to Apple and Androiddevices. In the fourth quarter of 2011, RIM’s worldwide share fell from14 per cent to 8.2 per cent from the same period a year ago, IDCresearchers reported yesterday, while Apple’s share rose to 24 per centfrom 16 per cent.
Heinstook the reinsat RIM on Jan. 22 after co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsilliestepped down following months of pressure for a leadership shakeup inlight of the disastrous PlayBook tablet rollout, BlackBerry serviceoutages and flagging price of the company’s stock.