BlackBerry has been on a roll lately. Their new Z10 is being received well and late last week they received an order for a million of their new smartphones, the largest single order in BlackBerry's history. On that same day, news broke that BlackBerry is also working on developing security software for both Google's Android and Apple's iOS. BlackBerry's one time strength was with government and the enterprise markets due to their security features and private network. It appears that there's sufficient demand from clients who switched to other devices to still sell them BlackBerry's security solutions. On another note, the US Patent Office published a new patent application from Blackberry that illustrates that the company is further exploring a new form factor for a possible new style of smartphone.
BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion, introduces us to a new smartphone form factor in one of their latest patent filings, as illustrated below. The new design presents a two display design.
Much of BlackBerry's patent application focuses on establishing multitouch and gesturing capabilities including a swipe gesture. Whether this new form factor is for a possible cheaper phone for emerging markets or simply an alternative design is unknown at this time. Though considering the great new design form factors that they just introduced in the form of the Z10 and Q10, it would appear that the patent's designs are for something entirely new and aimed for a different segement of the market.
It should also be noted that Patent Bolt reported back in May 2012 that the company was working on several other form factors for the future.
To review one of BlackBerry's most recently published inventions, see patent application 20130057479.
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A Side Note: In a recent interview with the Australian Financial Review BlackBerry's CEO stated that "Apple did a fantastic job in bringing touch devices to market ... They did a fantastic job with the user interface, they are a design icon. There is a reason why they were so successful, and we actually have to admit this and respect that."
he went on to state that "History repeats itself again I guess ... the
rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don’t innovate
at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly. The user interface on
the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about
is now five years old." Mr Heins also stated that one area that the new
BlackBerry phones had surpassed the iPhone was in the ability to
multi-task - running multiple apps at once.
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