To say that it’s been a tough year for RIM is an understatement.
Their BlackBerry PlayBook met with poor reviews on launch largely due to the absence of an email client and a near-non-existent app store.
Their aging fleet of BlackBerry handsets have seen their once dominant market position erode significantly due to pressure from Apple’s iPhone and the horde of Android smartphones that have entered the market this year.
Their shareholders are openingly questioning if the company should be split up and the co-CEOs replaced.
Last week, the company suffered one of its worst network outages ever, affecting millions of its customers worldwide.
And to top it all off, despite a late-year refresh to the company’s flagship models, the QNX-based handsets that are meant to be the company’s future, are still nowhere to be seen.
Yeah, it’s been a tough year.
But there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon, and today at 8:30 AM PST, co-CEO Mike Lazaridis will take the stage at BlackBerry DevCon in San Francisco to tell the world about what’s next for RIM.
According to an interview given to the National Post’s Matt Hartley by RIM’s other co-CEO Jim Balsillie, the company will have “leapfrogged everyone with what we’re announcing [on Tuesday] and you’re going to see it on display.”
Big words, especially given that general speculation is that no new hardware will be part of today’s announcement, leaving us to wonder if this brave new world is more about RIM’s network and software platforms than about creating more competitive devices.
You can watch the Lazaridis keynote as a live webcast.