Tomorrow, January 30th is the date of the global launch of BlackBerry 10 with events in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai, Jakarta, Delhi and Johannesburg. This launch is going to be big, or rather it has to be big, as BlackBerry 10 has its work cut out for it. It is effectively RIM’s last ditch attempt to compete in the high-end smartphone market. It is also arriving at a time when Windows Phone is beginning to gain some traction in a market dominated by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. So with $2.9 Billion in the bank, RIM is going guns-blazing with BlackBerry 10 and here are four reasons why you should be excited.

One – The New App World

For over a year now, RIM has been working with developers to build up a substantial app portfolio prior to the launch of BlackBerry 10. A first major effort to get apps that pass certain quality criteria was the ‘Build for BlackBerry’ campaign, whereby BlackBerry offers developers 10,000 USD to create an app, and get it approved. A second major app drive from RIM was a series of Port-A-Thon events, whereby developers can port their apps and games from other platforms to BlackBerry 10. With the last Port-A-Thon resulting in more than 19,000 apps and games submissions. As a result the ‘Build For BlackBerry’ deadline had to be extended.

What this all means is the BlackBerry App World will have a ton of really cool apps on launch with RIM promising 70,000. However, it is not confirmed whether or not South Africa will be getting music and video content at launch.

Two – A Whole New Experience

To state the obvious BlackBerry 10 is not iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Phone, Bada, Meego, or any of the other mobile operating systems currently floating around the market. BlackBerry 10 is a completely fresh interface, with minor similarities to the current operating systems we are used to.

A completely new experience is brilliant news for the market as it pushes the user experience to the next level. For instance, when iOS launched back in 2007 it was something completely novel and it changed the industry, BlackBerry 10 has the potential to do the same.

Three – Personal and Work Modes

BlackBerry have always had a hold on the corporate market, only recently has it started losing out to Apple’s iOS devices. BlackBerry are attempting to regain their previous spot on the top of the corporate device tree, by offering two profiles on one device, personal and work. The personal mode on BlackBerry 10 will feature your personal email, photos, calendar, BBM and other apps. While the work mode will have apps pushed through your personalised corporate BlackBerry app store, your work calendar, email, BBM and other messages. Cleverly there will be no way to mix work data with personal data on your device.

This is a brilliant concept, even with the “bring your own device” buzz. Luckily BlackBerry really understand efficiency and it will be fascinating to see how the market responds to this separation of duties.

Four – BlackBerry Messenger

For years South African instant messaging has been dominated by two players, BBM and MixIt. Only recently has Whatsapp started making significant headway in the South African market, due to the increase in Android, iOS and Symbian based devices. Other messaging platforms have also sprung up such as Samsung’s ChatOn, Apple’s iMessage and Kik Messenger, however none have managed to compete with the same functionality and mass acceptance of BBM.

There is no news to whether BBM Voice, a Skype like feature within BBM, will make its way to BlackBerry 10. Though, as it is the premier device we can only assume that if it is not available at launch, it will be shortly after.

We will be covering the Johannesburg launch tomorrow evening, starting at 18:00CAT follow us on Twitter (@techhuman, @brendonambrose & @ambio), Facebook and Google+ for live updates of the event.

Brendon Ambrose – Managing Editor | About Me – Scared of: Clowns, spiders and Hilary Clinton; Dream Wing Man: Jacob Zuma; Started Writing Tech: 2005 for Gadget.co.za; Favorite cereal: Frosties; Find me on: Twitter & Facebook
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