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Top 4 Risks to BlackBerry 10

Actually, the problem here isn't that it costs more -- it doesn't have to -- but just the fact that you need to change the plan with the carrier. For people who switch SIM cards between devices often, this is a total no-no.

That was BlackBerry of the past, operating system 7.1 and older. But what about BlackBerry 10? We don't know. RIM has not said if their new devices will need a special BlackBerry-only data plan or not. For RIM's sake, it had better not.

3. Someone else launches a great keyboard smartphone. Hello? Ask BlackBerry users why they still use one, and I imagine that almost 100% of them say the superior keyboard is the reason.

With the stiff competition breathing down their necks on all other fronts, RIM had better pray that an Android or Microsoft smartphone doesn't hit the market soon with a competitive keyboard. If that happens, it's likely all over for RIM.

4. Insufficient app support. This is a well-recognized hurdle. Even giant Microsoft, with tens of billions of dollars in the bank and a willingness to spend it on developers, is terribly behind Android and iOS in terms of the apps.

I have been using Windows Phone 8 for over six weeks, and I have been using Windows Phone 7.5 for over a year. The app quantity as well as the quality are simply not in the same league as Android and iOS.

The basic Windows Phone OS is fine enough -- as BlackBerry 10 could very well be -- but for me it's just not a competitive option as long as many of the critical apps simply aren't available, and others are inferior to the versions playing on Android and iOS.

Advice for RIM: Take Every Advantage You Can

Some factors are beyond RIM's control. For example, it's probably doing everything in its powers to convince developers to join the BlackBerry 10 platform, and if the competition gets its thumb out of its butt and launches a great keyboard device -- well, too bad.

But there are other things RIM can do to maximize BlackBerry 10's probability for success regardless. Here is one simple area of advice:

Make versions of BB 10 with really, really big batteries.

BlackBerry is all about serious people, whether they are working for a large enterprise or they are independent professionals and contractors. Nobody buys a BlackBerry because they think they are "cool" or a participant in a fashion show. They buy them because they are a power tool.

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