Images of the L series BlackBerry (full touch screen) have been floating around for a while now but yesterday saw the leak of images of the BlackBerry N series (the physical keyboard device running BB10). It looks quite similar to the current BlackBerry 9900 except with a significantly larger screen. More than likely a lot of people will hate it but the device will appeal to significant amount of people who want a physical keyboard (like myself) along with a large touchscreen. The device it appears to be based on, the 9900, probably has the best physical keyboard on any device out there at present so RIM are certainly not taking any chances with the N series.
In other RIM/BlackBerry news, yesterday they reported their Q2 financial results and for once it seemed to surprise the markets. Analysts were expecting significant losses and one analyst stated RIM had lost subscribers. To put things in context RIM is betting a lot on it’s ever increasing subscriber base. They’re hoping that this subscriber base will be amongst the first to transition to the new BB10 devices. Well RIM added another 2 million subscribers to bring it’s worldwide total to 80 million. A decent number for RIM to tap into come BB10 launch in Q1 2013. RIM also beat the streets estimate for revenue by being 400 million to 2.9billion. RIM’s share price is still up on the back of these figures but that’s not to say everything is hunky dory. RIM has some major challenges ahead. Until BB10 is released it’s going to spend more money then it’s taking in. We’re a lot closer to a BB10 release then ever before and it does appear that RIM have sufficient cash reserves to see everything through till launch date but there are pressures. The carriers pay a lot of money to RIM for access to BlackBerry services (this is in relation to the subscribers) and with RIM not selling many devices the carriers are looking for discounts on these fees. RIM is estimated to make about 1 billion per quarter on these fees and if they’re forced to cut prices for the carriers it could take a large chuck out of RIM’s revenue. Not to mention if subscriber numbers started to drop RIM could also begin to hemorrhage cash before BB10 launches. BUT, even with this potential bad news one cant help but feel hopeful. For the first time in a long time analysts were wrong about RIM’s financial results this quarter, and this means that maybe RIM has stabilised it’s losses at least for the time being.
BB10 cannot come soon enough for fans but more importantly for the markets and for RIM.