Having said that, they're going to have a tough time. Realistically it's possible for them to take a solid #3 spot behind Google and Apple, however Microsoft is ready to pour billions to make sure they're that #3. In fact, it's not clear whether there is a #3 exists at all, although I suspect it does.
Lastly there's the question of whether BlackBerry can remain independent. A good BB10 launch will make them an attractive target - perhaps Amazon is tired of being chained to Android.
I don't think it'll be as tough as all that. Remember that they still have their huge corporate install base. If they'd waited another 18 months to release this, they would have really been losing that market as companies started replacing their BB infrastructure. As is, they can parlay their huge corporate client base into a market for this new phone.
This is my only chance at anything even resembling a cool phone.
On the other hand, Blackberry (it feels weird not calling them RIM) are going all out. Their innovations to BB10 will make Tim Cook look even more uninspired.
EDIT: The above comment is my prediction of the public's perception of Tim Cook in the next few months (an otherwise nice guy and good leader). Not gospel. But it will be interesting to watch how BB10 does and how Apple responds.
The closest thing I've seen to the next stage of smartphone evolution is Google Now. Even in it's lowly v1 it is useful and I can totally see it becoming Android's killer app. Also, Google's engineering and services are well suited to executing well - they have expertise in machine learning, they have tons of data, etc. I'll be interesting to see what happens.
And the "true multitasking" sort of works (pretty much as well as Anroid) only because they bolted 2GB of RAM onto the thing.
BlackBerry are dead. The OS looks like amateur hour, the icons look inspired by Windows XP, and even their default font is badly rendered everywhere. The Android emulator is unusably slow (nothing like what it was in the desktop simulator) and pointless. It should be removed.
It's a decent beta, but that's about it. They're done.
Well, yeah. So what?
As an iOS user I'm salivating at the thought of actually being able to IM people properly. Right now invariably it goes something like this:
[push notification: you have a new message!]
[tap on notification]
[IM app launches]
[go get a coffee]
[IM app launched! Retrieving your new messages...]
[go get a sandwich]
[here's that message!]
Real multitasking is a huge win, even a diehard iOS user like myself will admit. I don't care if they had to summon Cthulhu to make it work - but as long as it does, it's a great selling point.
the growth of the blackberry was driven by communicating when you are out of the office, whereas the iphone is really a portable computer with cellular antenna.
the original blackberries were a 2-3 line screen with a keyboard, and the screen grew in size from there. that's what most of corporate america first got hooked on, at least in my memory (a young geezer).
from what i see, folks that chose the iphone either never cared about writing an email remotely, or forego that capability (or compromise) in exchange for the apps, games etc.
iphones in the workplace are comical.
folks who have iphones tend to write back "ok" or "talk tmrw" etc in response when they are out of office. they can't use the keyboard, and it's hard to pretend - takes a lot of effort. or, if they try to write more, it is endless typos or bizarre auto-correct comments.
i write this as a blackberry bold user, so understand my biases, but for actual email communication, nothing comes close. (and i tried iphone/android for a while to see if i could do it - can't).
so, i'm looking forward to the q10, at least one idiot still functional in the blackberry ecosystem. maybe a 12-step program will help.