We recently exclusively reported that the BlackBerry Milan has been cancelled. While RIM may rebirth it under a different codename, much like they did with the Magnum/Dakota project (Bold 9900/9930), the BlackBerry 10 slider ceases to exist. After we reported such claims, other rumors about the device began to emerge, which included that the Milan was actually a BlackBerry 7 device and would not have BlackBerry 10 OS. Another claim suggested that the BlackBerry London would be the only BlackBerry 10 device to release.
What if those rumors are true? What if RIM really is planning to go the Apple approach with releasing only one phone? In one of our articles titled ‘5 Things RIM Needs to do for Rebuilding BlackBerry Consumer Loyalty‘ we gave way to the notion of RIM dwindling down its device lineup to end fragmentation in the marketplace. Although, it was suggested RIM release only 2 or 3 handsets. Releasing one BlackBerry phone would be quite interesting in terms of both app development and global user reach.
One of the strong points that have made BlackBerry devices successful around the world is its pricing. In countries that do not have subsidized cellphone plans, buying a new phone can be quite costly. This is one of the reasons the iPhone has yet to garner such a global reach. Customers are more inclined to buy the $300 BlackBerry versus the $1000 iPhone. If RIM limited their selection to just one device, they might lose that entire entry level market. A move like that would be preposterous, right? Or is it just adding to the mix in the rumors that suggest RIM plans to license BlackBerry 10 to other handset manufacturers?
If there was only one BlackBerry 10 phone, it would be a piece of cake to develop on the platform. One reason the iPhone has been so receptive of apps is that developers do one version and they’re done. Unless of course they want it available on the iPad. Currently with BlackBerry, developers are forced to make a multitude of versions, which ends up making the game or app project more costly, time consuming, and not always the same experience across the board. By introducing one BlackBerry 10 device it might actually attract more developers to the platform.
While it does seem unlikely that RIM would only release one BlackBerry 10 phone, the positives are pretty evident. Although, if the BlackBerry London (pictured above) is truly the only device to release, RIM will have dropped everything BlackBerry once stood for. Let us know what you think RIM should do. Release one BlackBerry 10 phone or an array of them? Vote in our poll to let us know if you think RIM should license out BlackBerry 10.