January 30th UPDATE: BlackBerry 10 will have Skype.
BlackBerry 10, says RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, has a clear shot at being the number three platform after iPhone and Android. To that end, the company has spent months systematically trying to remove each objection a consumer might have before the release of the devices early next year.
More apps? Check. Cool camera? Check. A better contact manager? Yep.
So with carriers such as Verizon and AT&T possessing every economic incentive to promote BlackBerry 10 as a viable alternative to help ease the economic stranglehold that Apple has around their necks, is there any reason consumers will not take to the the new devices?
Turns out, there are still a few. First and foremost, of course, is the fact that cell phones have become fashion items, and Apple is the brand that certain people will demand, even at a higher price. Beyond that, there are two major reasons that a consumer might walk away from a BB10 device, and both are household names.
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The first is Netflix. All indications are that the category-killing company has no plans build a BlackBerry app anytime soon. In February, Netflix went as far as to announce from its Twitter account that “We don’t have any current plans to support BlackBerry devices, including PlayBook.”
The second is Skype, which has not confirmed either way. The video conferencing app is available for BlackBerry 7 devices, but there has been some concern that there has yet to be an announcement about its availability for BlackBerry 10.
While some felt The now Microsoft owned Skype would take a pass on BlackBerry 10, there was a bit of a buzz when reps from the company attended the BlackBerry Jam world Tour in California recently.
Skype is the most popular video conferencing platform in the world, with 90 million Android downloads to more than 1,300 Android devices from HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG and more than 60-million iPhone downloads.
RIM’s ability to land Skype for the BlackBerry 10 platform certainly won’t be hurt by its historically warm relationship with Microsoft, but the whole issue got us thinking about its importance. Would you pass on a BlackBerry 10 phone that didn’t have Skype? Let us know in our poll below.