ORLANDO: RIM is confident of regaining lost market share with its BlackBerry 10 platform and a renewed focus on the enterprise market, chief executive Thorsten Heins told journalists at the BlackBerry World conference, outlining his strategy for the company and dispelling some myths at the same time.
RIM's upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system will be a "mobile computing" platform rather than just a smartphone platform, Heins told the assembled press, with optimisations to support mobile users in both the enterprise and consumer markets.
Addressing some of the "misrepresentations" of RIM, Heins said that the BlackBerry 10 portfolio will include devices with a physical keyboard, refuting some press reports that the company was switching to touch-screen only devices following a demonstration of its new touch input support earlier this week.
"We want the typing experience on BlackBerry to be the best in the world, whether physical or touch. We have the best physical keypad on the planet, and we don't want to give that up," he said.
Heins also referred to earlier press accounts that misquoted him as saying that RIM was turning its back on the consumer market completely, a move that would make no sense, he added.
"We will be extremely strong in the enterprise, but will be just as strong in consumer - that is an important part of our business. With BlackBerry 10, we are building a core computing engine and platform and will augment that with consumer application services," he said.
However, Heins conceded that there is "still a lot of hard work to be done", and claimed that some of RIM's problems came from the company's growth since 2007, expanding from about 7,000 employees to over 20,000.
"The issue we had is that the organisation didn't scale, and decision by consensus didn't work anymore. That's why I've been trying to push accountability and responsibility to where it needs to be," Heins explained, adding that the changes he has instigated since becoming chief include the appointment of a chief marketing officer to co-ordinate global marketing strategy, as well as a chief operating officer.
Heins confirmed that the first BlackBerry 10 devices will ship later this year, although he was still unwilling to give a precise date, and disclosed that RIM is looking to build a whole portfolio of devices around the platform.
"We're nearing completion of the platform, and you'll just have to be patient a little longer," he said, adding that the Developer Alpha handsets given to BlackBerry World attendees are not actually running BlackBerry 10 but a "derivation of PlayBook OS 2.0" that is designed to get the application framework into the hands of developers.
Heins explained that BlackBerry was "facing a battle" in the US market, but he ultimately believes that the portfolio IRM is working on will make the company a strong contender again.
"I'm confident we will regain market share. We have to succeed in a very competitive market," he said.
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