Blackberry World 2012 (Part 1) - The keynote address

7/12/2012 11:27:56 AM

As RIM and BlackBerry head onwards into a future they've forged themselves, we tag along to find out what they have in dreams, and what they'll be fulfilling

Description: Thorsten Heins, president and chief executive officer of RIM, giving the opening keynote address

Thorsten Heins, president and chief executive officer of RIM, giving the opening keynote address

The place was on the sunny grounds of Orlando, Florida, and the event was the BlackBerry world 2012 conference, which was held on the 1st of May and into the 3rd. We were there, along with people from 150 countries worldwide, with the same question in our head: Where is BlackBerry headed towards? Research in Motion stands facing an uncertain future, a promise of a path in ahead. But is it headed to the right direction? Or is the future more certain than it seems?

This was the question, and BlackBerry had us there so they could answer it.

The keynote address

BlackBerry world began, naturally, with a keynote address, and president and CEO of RIM, Thorsten Heins, took the stage to tremendous applause. "This is a unique moment for me. This is my first BlackBerry world as CEO of research in motion," said Thorsten. He was named president and chief executive office of RIM in January 2012, and had previously served as chief operating office, product engineering, overseeing the BlackBerry smartphone portfolio worldwide. "I am here because I believe in the unique value that BlackBerry delivers to our customers every single day."

"I've spent much of the last three months talking to as many people as you can imagine; consumers, enterprise customers, developers, carriers, partners, and our passionate employees," he continued. "And like you, these are connected people. People who lived for a purpose. These are the people that BlackBerry is focused on serving: the BlackBerry people."

Now what does that mean? RIM's studies has shown that their customers are "hyper connected". 63% of smartphones users do social networking every day; 87% of BlackBerry users also do the same thing. 65% of smartphone user access organisation tools (calendar, task-lists) on a daily basis. BlackBerry? 91%. And 22% of smartphone users download apps every day; BlackBerry users, on the other hand, has 34%. This tells that BlackBerry users are far from the average smartphone users, that they are people of purpose. "You mobilise other people. You don't just dream -- you make your goals happen. You get more done in a day."

Description: Clarence So, senior VP for Strategy, (left), talking to Thorsten on their success story with BlackBerry
Clarence So, senior VP for Strategy, (left), talking to Thorsten on their success story with BlackBerry

Thorsten then questions the true unique value of BlackBerry. Is it an entertainment machine? Thorsten believe that they've done a good job, and that entertainment is important. But they needed to go beyond, as people demand more in a smartphone.

Description: RIM CEO Thorsten Heins told the audience at BlackBerry World 2012
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins told the audience at BlackBerry World 2012

Is BlackBerry's core being a productivity tool? Thorsten believes so, certainly ("Of course it does, it's a BlackBerry!"). And with 55 million BBM subscribers, this is a clear statement that social integration is important to their users.

Still, according to Thorsten, BlackBerry is "all about success. You're more productive and competitive. You can respond faster. You're agile, you're nimble, and you can stay ahead. BlackBerry lets you create your own success." This, Thorsten says, is the core value of the company. There are 77 million BlackBerry users across the globe, and BlackBerry has been there to provide them with great support, data efficiency, good battery life and security. "We're dedicated to leveraging all aspects of this unique architecture to make mobility more simple."

Clarence so appears on stage, and joined Thorsten. He is the senior vice president for strategy at, and he was there to talk about his company's success story with BlackBerry. "We wouldn't be as successful we are today without BlackBerry," he said. "We run our company on BlackBerry devices". He said that they are focused on enabling social enterprise, and helping global companies by making available on all devices, and running it on the upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform by the end of the year.

Description: Thorsten reveals the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device
Thorsten reveals the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device

Thorsten then invited Chuck Robbins, senior vice president for the Americas at Cisco, on stage as well. Chuck talked about Cisco's alliances with BlackBerry, and confirms that they are working on app development for BlackBerry 10, as well as WebX and AnyConnect.

And the subject was then on BlackBerry 10, with Thorsten saying that they want to be sure they got it right. "We had a tough decision to make: what would the platform for the BlackBerry 10 development? We started looking at analytics, trying to figure out what BlackBerry is all about. We realised we needed to take a separate route.

“We took the hard road by deciding to deliver our own platform, quietly acquiring assets like QNX abd bringing them into BlackBerry 10's mobile computing platform. We're making incredible progress working on it."

At this point, Thorsten showed us the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. "And it's working. It's working well."

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