RIM has ‘reset the benchmark for browsing’, the company's UK MD Stephen Bates told Mobile in an interview following the launch of its five new handsets today (3 August).
Following a year long hiatus, the manufacturer found itself in the spotlight once again as it launched a new range of smartphones that could potentially rival the success of Apple and Android devices.
RIM took the wraps of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930, the hybrid BlackBerry Torch 9810 and the all-touch BlackBerry Torch 9850 and 9860.
Bates said: ‘These five smartphones represent the pinnacle of bringing a new browsing experience (in the shape of BlackBerry 7 OS) and combining it with all the social networking capabilities that we’re enhancing in BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) 6. We want to give the best user experience wrapped up in high-quality, high performance hardware.’
Commenting on the loss of global market share to Apple and Android handsets, Bates said: ‘In the UK we have been growing our share. For us this is a huge market. This is a fantastic time for our existing users and new users who come to BlackBerry to experience the efficiency, the integrated nature and really explore the use of social networking with our mobile environment.’
According to Bates, there are a lot more conversations going on with partners and developers about tackling what many have considered to be RIM’s weakness compared with Apple and Android – a lack of apps. He said: ‘We are working closely with our developers and we expect the viral effect that we have seen in BBM to eventually expand into our applications.’
Customers eager to adopt cashless technology can also benefit from the Near field Communications (NFC) solution integrated into all of the new phones.
‘These devices have NFC capabilities built-in and we have also announced a whole set of tools around NFC. That will enable our partners to bring capabilities like contactless payments to the market. We think we will see the UK develop quickly around NFC,’ said Bates.
Meanwhile, despite increased pressure from rivals in the smartphone market and the announcement of 2,000 job cuts last month, Bates insisted that staff morale had not been negatively impacted.
He added: ‘Everyone has been completely focused on this launch and trying to make it successful.’