It was 2 years today when CEO (then) of BlackBerry Thorsten Heins unveiled BlackBerry’s future; BlackBerry 10. Looking back since then, a lot has happened for the company including the BlackBerry 10 OS.
In 2012, Thorsten Heins was made CEO to bring BB10 to the masses in which he did rightly so. Until November 2013, he was CEO when John Chen replaced him. What happened to BlackBerry 10 since Thorsten unveiled the first iteration? A lot.
For starters, many, including analysts were convinced that the public would never see BlackBerry 10 at all. Sure, the company unveiled a tad bit of what to expect in the summer of 2012, but the OS didn’t launch until 2013 after numerous delays. However, the very first BlackBerry 10 powered smartphone, the BlackBerry Z10, was released in 2013 practically on the same day of the BB10 launch and the device is still receiving major OS updates. OS 10.3.1 is expected to launch very soon. Not only did BlackBerry 10 launch, the OS is still receiving and updating first gen devices to this day, which includes the BlackBerry Q10 – the first physical keyboard powered BB10 device and the BlackBerry Q5.
BlackBerry 10 has gone through 6 major iterations (7 if you include the “Merkel OS”) beginning from 10.0 right up to 10.3.1. Along with the first 3 BB10 devices (Z10 (10.0), Q10 (10.1) and Q5 (10.1) 4 additional BlackBerry 10 devices have been released systematically accommodating each major OS update which includes the BlackBerry Z30 (10.2), BlackBerry Z3 (10.2.1), BlackBerry Passport (10.3) and the BlackBerry Classic (10.3.1).
As a whole, BlackBerry 10, in each aspect and element has matured vastly and is very well standing up to the likes of its predecessor; BBOS, including staying competitive enough for the likes of iOS, Android and Windows Phone. The Browser’s well bragged about HTML 5 score has consistently improved, even so much having Adobe Flash removed since 10.3.1. The keyboard has gone through subtle UI changes but still stays true to the BlackBerry keyboard experience – the best touch keyboard IMO.
The Android Runtime has arguably been somewhat of a savior for many people wanting the apps that their friends are always talking about. When BlackBerry 10 launched with 80,000 apps, people were optimistic concerning the development of BlackBerry 10 apps. Fast foward to 2 years later and whilst BlackBerry 10 development has slowed down, the devices come with 500,000 apps out of the box, courtesy of the Amazon App Store and BlackBerry World combined. The Android Runtime might not be the preferred choice for some and the apps may certainly not appeal to the overall aesthetic of BlackBerry 10 itself, but one things for certain; it’s provided a solution for many BB10 users. The Android Runtime has been one of the many features that has consistently improved with each OS update. It’s undoubtedly an impressive part of BB10 – the ability to run Android apps (quite) well.
In hindsight, BlackBerry 10 was the beginning of the end for former Research In Motion, BlackBerry was official and soon, even hand picked Thorsten Heins was let go. Today, former Sybase CEO John Chen is running BlackBerry and many other big name employees left or had to be let go, including Alec Saunders; former manager of developer relations and VP of Project ION. Anyone that contributed to the development of BlackBerry 10 should be proud of what they achieved in such short time.
Nonetheless, BlackBerry remains and remains diligent in improving the company including the operating system along with working to become a well-respected and financially viable brand which can produce positive financial results. John Chen, acknowledges the works of Thorsten Heins and the companies strengths using them as assets and pushing forward; BlackBerry 10 is a subset to one out of four assets. (BBM, QNX, Enterprise and Devices)
It is anyone’s wonder as to what the situation for BlackBerry will be in 2 years to come, but if they’ve been anything like the past year under the leadership of John Chen, the future is definitely bright for BlackBerry. Heck, BlackBerry 10 may not be called BlackBerry 10 in the next 2 years, but you can pretty well be sure it will be alive and kicking in some form.
Some got it right about the fate of BlackBerry 10, some got it wrong. But one things for sure, BlackBerry 10 has proven to grow and impress. Check out some of the BlackBerry 10 launch pictures courtesy of the BlackBerry Empire team! It’ll be sure to give you some nostalgia.