Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
There are more than 1,600 business in North America testing RIM’s new BlackBerry phone, which is due to launch in a few weeks, reports Reuters, citing RIM’s enterprise accounts director.RIM is still very strong in the enterprise world, but the recent “bring your own device” trend could be tough on the new BlackBerry as many companies now let employees use any smartphone of they want. For example, Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer recently ditched all company BlackBerrys and allowed employees choose to use an Android phone, iPhone, or Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone instead.
So it’s a good sign that RIM is getting aggressive with its current enterprise customers ahead of the big launch of its new BlackBerry 10 operating system on January 30.
Beyond the enterprise, RIM’s challenge will be to convince normal consumers to choose BB10 devices over the Android phones or the iPhone. To do that, it’ll have to prove it has a vibrant app and content ecosystem that stacks up to Google’s and Apple’s. According to a leaked document from one of RIM’s Canadian carrier partners, there will be about 70,000 apps and 20 million songs available on BB10 at launch.
That’s another good sign.
One BB10 feature that could help narrow the gap between the consumer and enterprise is its ability to set separate profiles for work and personal use. In “work” mode, BB10 phones can display apps designated by your company’s IT department along with your e-mail and calendar. In “personal” mode, you can temporarily switch off work e-mail and calendar alerts and only look at the fun stuff like social networks and games.
Want to learn more about BB10? Click here for photos of a near-final version of RIM’s new mobile operating system >