RIM cracks the whip in order to hurry BlackBerry 10 release date

News Richard Goodwin 12:56, 6 Jul 2012

RIM has asked its remaining employees to work six-day weeks and forgo any existing holidays in order to get BlackBerry 10 to market faster

RIM employees have been instructed to work six-day weeks and abstain from booking any holidays in order to get the company’s heavily delayed BlackBerry 10 operating system to market as quickly as possible.

‘The company,’ reports the Ottawa Citizen, ‘which this week delivered a bombshell announcement that its next generation of smartphones will be delayed until next year, confirmed Friday that the intensified work hours are due to the focus on getting BB10 out to market.’

Originally scheduled for a release in the Q3 of 2012, RIM’s BlackBerry 10 update has been beset by a factor of issues ranging from the technical, chipset delays and BES integration issues, to the political, with boardroom reshuffles and the exit of its two founding executives, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis.

The company’s share price has tumbled and confidence in the BlackBerry brand has been tainted, perhaps irreparably. But BlackBerry 10 could turn all this around. Many believe it represents RIM’s last chance at survival, whilst others feel the damage has now been done and RIM will be forced to play second fiddle to Microsoft in the mobile space.

Newly appointed CEO Thorsten Heins has commended the work of RIM’s employees who are said to be currently working around the clock to get BlackBerry 10 to market.

‘The successful launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform, and the delivery of high quality, full-featured BlackBerry 10 smartphones, remains the company’s No. 1 priority; and we’re incredibly proud of the commitment shown by all RIM employees as we work toward this goal,’ a RIM spokesperson told the Canadian news wire.

Heins detailed the extent and reasons behind the delay of BlackBerry 10 during a conference call to investors on Thursday.

‘RIM’s development teams are relentlessly focused on ensuring the quality and reliability of the platform and I will not compromise the product by delivering it before it is ready,’ said Heins.

He added: ‘over the past several weeks, RIM’s software development teams have made major progress in the development of key features for BlackBerry 10. However, the integration of these features and the associated large volume of code into the platform has proven to be more time consuming than anticipated.’

Know Your Mobile got a hands-on demo of BlackBerry 10 following the platform’s official release at DevCon 2012 in February. First impressions were very good and it’s clear that RIM has thought long and hard about its latest proposition, introducing tons of new features and a highly innovative touchscreen keyboard.

Developers, however, are not happy. Writing on Alex Saunders’ blog, RIM’s vice-president of developer relations, one BlackBerry developer said, ‘how is it possible that BB10 has got postponed once again? Does anyone at RIM actually believe that existing customers will sit around waiting for BB10 when all the other ecosystems are constantly evolving gaining market share?’

It ended: ‘How could you and RIM have told us developers for the last few months how close things were, to have got us this excited and then to wait for a quarterly earnings call to bitterly disappoint the only community that will, in the end, make BB10 sing?’

The first batch of BlackBerry 10 handsets are expected to appear sometime in the first half of 2013.

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