Australian analysts have set conservative expectations for the BlackBerry 10 ahead of its launch tomorrow. Meanwhile, an Ovum analyst predicted the release may only serve to draw out the demise of Research In Motion (RIM).
IBRS analyst Guy Cranswick said he doesn’t see BlackBerry performing better in Australia than any other market.
“The latest evidence on iOS and Android market penetration, especially Android, suggests that BlackBerry will not enjoy quick success.
He said RIM will "look for incremental growth in things like positive feedback” and “better than anticipated reviews".
“This is about Blackberry being competitive again and in the initial phase, after launch, they will want to see they are a player, even though their sights are set lower than the majors.”
Telsyte senior analyst Rodney Gedda agreed that RIM's goals must be modest. “BlackBerry already has a significant presence among businesses so its immediate target with BlackBerry 10 should be to hang onto that market and stop it being eroded by competing products,” he said.
“As we have seen in recent years, Australians love their smartphones so the more BlackBerry 10 is like the iPhone and Android the more chance it has of competing in the consumer and small business markets as well.”
Meanwhile, Ovum US analyst Jan Dawson painted a dark picture of RIM’s future.
“RIM continues to face the twin demons of consumer-driven buying power and a chronic inability to appeal to mature market consumers," he said.
“There is nothing in what we’ve seen so far of BB10 that suggests it will conquer the second of these demons, and the first is utterly out of RIM’s control.
“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.”
Ovum does expect RIM to experience a “brief bump” in sales from the BB10 launch, but believes the platform will appeal mainly to existing BlackBerry users.
“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,” Dawson said.
Other analysts have provided more cautiously optimistic analysis leading up to the 30 January launch of BlackBerry 10.
IDC analyst Ramon Llamas called BlackBerry 10 a “really positive step for the company” that levels the playing field against Apple, Android and Windows Phone.
The company’s new mobile management software, BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 (BES 10) has similarly been met with mixed reviews from analysts. Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney said BES 10 is unlikely to win back enterprise customers who have already fled from BlackBerry.
RIM continues to be the subject of speculation about a possible acquisition by another hardware company. Lenovo on Monday downplayed reports that it was interested in buying the BlackBerry maker.
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