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RIM's stock price jumps on news of increased subscribers

September 26, 2012 03:34 PM ET

Flow allows a user to swipe a screen with a slight pullback gesture from anywhere, even inside an app, to see a list of elements in the Hub. Heins noted that to work within the Hub, users don't need to call up a separate app.

By using Hub and Flow, "there's no more in and out [of apps] and no more brain occupied with 'Dammit, which app am I using right now?'" Heins said.

Also of vital use to IT shops, Heins said, is BlackBerry Balance, which will allow two separate user profiles, or identities, to reside on a single BlackBerry 10 smartphone. The two identities are separate, "right down to the OS, which is a multi-threaded OS as part of BB 10," Heins added.

Each identity is fully secure and encrypted. To switch from one to the other, a user pulls down on the display and taps buttons for either "personal" or "work" to see apps in each area. There are also separate buttons to reach an approved set of apps in an App World for enterprise, and to reach the conventional public App World for personal use.

Heins' keynote concluded with a strong tone that may have bolstered investor, if not developer, confidence. "There's a new culture at RIM, new energy and a lot of fighting spirit in this company," he said. "We are fighting. Join us."

The optimism and demonstrations of BlackBerry 10 features didn't persuade everyone that RIM can reverse its fortunes, especially against competition from the iPhone and Android devices.

"I haven't seen anything in BlackBerry 10 that makes me believe RIM can recover," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at ZK Research. "They've lost the faith of the IT buyer with poor quality, service outages and fragile devices that have left IT managers frustrated, and this IT group was the last buying group for RIM. The service has proven to be a liability with service outages."

As for BlackBerry Enterprise Services, Kerravala said many of those benefits can be found in mobile device management software products from companies such as Zenprise and MobileIron.

A recurring theme among analysts is that RIM may see a resurgence if the BlackBerry 10 smartphones are a hit, although Kerravala doesn't expect them to do well in North America.

"I think the competitive landscape with iPhone and Android is too strong, so that's why the emerging economies are so important to RIM," he said.

covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at Twitter @matthamblen, or subscribe to Hamblen RSSMatt's RSS feed. His email address is

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