As BlackBerry 10 Jam kicks off later today in Orlando, many are wondering what new stuff can be expected from the fledging Canadian smartphone manufacturer. Things have changed dramatically for RIM since BlackBerry World last year. The Co-CEO team of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie are not heading the company they founded anymore and Thorsten Heins has been tasked with the job of reviving RIM’s floundering fortunes. BlackBerry’s relevance as a prime time smartphone vendor has greatly diminished and its next generation BlackBerry 10 OS is still sometime away. Read on to find out what to expect from today’s event. Also Read - Outgoing BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins "will keep cheering from the sidelines"
BlackBerry 10 related news: We don’t expect any major BlackBerry 10 related hardware announcement, though we do believe that RIM will handover Alpha versions of BlackBerry 10 devices to developers. We have no details on the hardware spec; perhaps RIM will reveal some details. Also Read - Who is BlackBerry's interim-CEO, John S Chen?
Cross Platform BBM app: For sometime we have been hearing about the possibility of a cross platform version of the popular BlackBerry Messenger application. RIM could perhaps finally unveil one, especially Android and iOS versions of the app. Obviously we expect the app to be paid and it will have some feature limitations in comparison to the BlackBerry app, but this could be a way RIM for to leverage its assets. Also Read - BlackBerry's Fairfax deal dead, CEO Heins out
BlackBerry OS 10 licensing deal: Another option for RIM to save itself from the sinkhole is to license its latest OS to third-parties who could perhaps make hardware based on the BlackBerry OS 10 software stack. We could perhaps see an announcement in relation to this.
4G BlackBerry PlayBook: When RIM announced the PlayBook back in 2010 it said that a 4G version of the device would also come out. At launch last year, unfortunately a 4G version was not to be seen, perhaps RIM will finally unveil the 4G version of its tablet. This is particularly important for the North American markets as 4G is in high demand and even Apple has responded with a 4G version of the iPad.
BlackBerry 9320 launch: The only hardware launch that we foresee at BlackBerry World today is the 9320 Curve, a device we did an exclusive hands-on a couple of months ago. Besides this device, we don’t expect a lot.
On the whole today’s even could perhaps set the tone for the direction RIM might take over next six months, which could possible determine the fate of the company itself.