RIM plans to trim its product line-up and lean heavily on BlackBerry 7 devices as it puts the finishing touches to BlackBerry 10, focusing on BBM connected services to provoke consumer interest. As for the decision to push a full-touchscreen device running the new platform initially, rather than playing to RIM’s obvious strengths in devices with keyboards, Heins said that it was an intentional strategy rather than a company gaffe.
“We own the QWERTY market, we’re not as competitive as the full-touch market, Heins pointed out. “That’s why we’re targeting the full-touch market first.”
RIM confirmed the decision to push full-touch handsets initially last month, after suggestions at earlier developer events that challenging the iPhone directly with production phones based on the Dev Alpha developer device design was the company’s primary goal. However, it was keen to point out that more traditional QWERTY phones were in the pipeline too.
In fact one of the advantages of the delayed arrival of the first BlackBerry 10 handset in early 2013, RIM pointed out, is that it will reduce the gap in availability between full-touch and QWERTY variants. A leaked roadmap suggested that the two ranges could be the BlackBerry L-Series and BlackBerry N-Series.