CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Research in Motion (RIM) will launch its Blackberry 10 mobile operating system (OS) today, which it hopes will mark the start of its comeback.
The INQUIRER will be at RIM's launch event in London today, where the firm is expected to show off its latest Blackberry 10 mobile OS along with its first Blackberry 10 smartphones.
Although we have yet to catch a glimpse of these devices, online speculation suggests that RIM will unveil two handsets - one touchscreen smartphone and one with a physical QWERTY keyboard.
RIM is hoping these devices along with its so far well received Blackberry 10 mobile OS will put it back into the black, following several quarters of poor financial results and lackluster sales of its latest smartphones.
Wall Street analysts aren't so hopeful, though. Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum said, "Despite the brief bump RIM will see from the launch of [Blackberry 10], we expect its decline to continue longer term.
"At its peak, RIM shipped between 12 and 15 million devices per quarter, but there is no way it can hit this number on a sustainable basis once the [Blackberry 10] launch filters through. Though the new platform should have significant appeal to existing users, we don't expect it to win significant numbers of converts from other platforms.
"There is little in the new platform that suggests it will have the compelling apps, content stores, or the broader ecosystem that consumers have come to expect in a competitive smartphone platform.
"We don't expect a speedy exit from the market; with no debt, 80 million subscribers and profitability in the black in at least some recent quarters, the company can continue in this vein for years. But its glory days are past, and it is only a matter of time before it reaches a natural end."
However, Philip Gartman, an analyst at Gartner, is feeling a bit more optimistic. He said, "There's no doubt that RIM has taken a hit on global smartphone market share - especially in the enterprise where it is rapidly being replaced by iPhones.
"It saw its installed base decrease for the first time in history by 2 [million] in the last quarter, but in the famous words of Monty Python, it's 'not dead yet!'"
Join us from 3pm UK time today for all of the latest from RIM's launch of its Blackberry 10 mobile OS and smartphones unveiling. µ