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Can new smartphones rekindle the BlackBerry fire?

Matt Hamblen | Jan. 28, 2013
RIM hopes to translate positive pre-launch buzz into sales of its Z10 and X10 smartphones on January 30.

Bussmann said it's important for enterprise IT to be open to BlackBerry 10 and other platforms. "It is imperative that IT decision-makers implement enterprise class apps that replicate the same kind of experience that consumers have become used to -- easy, intuitive and beautiful -- while also granting access from any device platform and adhering to security requirements," he said.

Overall, SAP supports about 50,000 smartphone and tablet users globally.

Enterprises are expected to be interested in a dual personality feature in the BlackBerry 10 operating system called BlackBerry Balance, analysts said. The Balance technology will allow two user profiles to exist separately on the same phone for work and personal data, but it will also allow a user to mingle emails from both profiles in a single stream.

The advantage will be that if an employee leaves a company, the IT shop can use the new BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 software to wipe off all the mission-critical work data, leaving the user's personal data on the device.

BlackBerry Balance, and the fact that BES 10 allows management of Android and iOS as well as BlackBerry devices, will help "stem some of the flow of BES removals" by enterprises, Redman and other analysts said.

Still, the traditional features that RIM has focused on with enterprises, such as security and management capabilities for IT, are expected to take a back seat to the user interface, browser and overall product appeal of the new phones.

"RIM has a lot riding on next week's announcements -- maybe the future of the company," Redman said. "It will be an interesting year ahead."


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