RIM outlines plans for BB10 device portfolio

Touch first, keyboard second

RIM outlines plans for BB10 device portfolio

RIM's CEO has promised a 'fantastic' QWERTY device will follow the full-touch BB10 launch smartphone.

Speaking at RIM's AGM, CEO Thorsten Heins said the company was prepared to slim down its portfolio and explained why it wasn't working to its strengths immediately.

"I often get asked why we're launching with a full touch device first. The reason is we own the full keyboard experience, and will deliver that into the market.

"This will then be immediately followed by a fantastic QWERTY product soon thereafter. We own the QWERTY market, but we're not as competitive in the full touch segment.

"Our performance in the US has been affected by the consumer appeal of iOS and Android, [a lack of a BlackBerry] LTE device and the growing trend of 'bring your own device' in enterprise."

Fewer, not less, phones

Heins also promised RIM will be launching fewer phones into the market after it has been accused by some of releasing too many devices.

"We will have a more streamlined portfolio, and will focus on a smaller number of devices in market at any time."

"The BB10 line will be premium smartphones, both full touch and QWERTY, and fully intend to lead in the QWERTY segment.

"The BB7 product portfolio will [continue to] address the entry level and mid tier until we launch BB10 portfolio into market."

So it's not curtains for the likes of the Curve 9320 just yet – but it does load the pressure on the new BlackBerry 10 range ahead of next year's launch given how few devices there will be.