|Many get the feeling Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, is no longer moving forward.|
Karwa, like us, waited throughout the keynote presentation to hear a launch date for BlackBerry 10. It did not come. He, like us, wondered if there would be an opportunity to review the line of new hardware devices. There would be none. The BlackBerry 10 announcement turned out to be just that: an announcement, a staged event to feed the BlackBerry partisans an early look at a revamped app framework. The idea is to get developers developing to feed the App World ecosystem. The "alpha" hardware Heins demonstrated was not a final spec, and the new line of hardware devices Karwa came to Orlando to see were yet to be announced. Though Karwa watched as Heins channeled Apple's ( AAPL) Steve Jobs, there was no Steve-style "one more thing" bombshell at the end of the program. The demonstration ended. The lights just came on. And Karwa finished his ice cream. Then he took a long look around at the 5,000 people attending BlackBerry World. He weighed Heins' logic: The company wants to hold off on a product launch, keeping quality in mind. The operating system has to be "perfect" before launch, perhaps taking a page from Jobs' book. But Karwa senses Apple's rules are not working for RIM. "How can RIM expect to compete when they're taking this long to introduce new products and devices?" Karwa asked. "The product cycle cannot continue to take this long." RIM's tight global runway
Karwa broke down RIM's problems in India: Devices are released practically every week there. So when BlackBerry takes three or more years to announce something without a formal release date, retailers such as Karwa gets nervous. The profit margins for resellers such as his on the hugely popular Apple devices are razor thin. And many in direct mobile sales are dying to find a product line that can boost revenues. 7 Dividend Stocks You Can't Ignore Right Now >> But Karwa was clearly skeptical RIM can deliver that next profitable uber-product. There were simply too many questions at this event. And too many reasons for him not to consider seeking other devices from makers including Samsung and Motorola ( MOT). "The BlackBerry 10 sounds like a great thing," he said. "But I need something that I can see, something that I can touch and feel with my hands." Additional reporting was provided by Anthony Mowl.