The first WES2010 general session took place today and Mike Lazaridis gave a keynote very similar to the presentation he gave to analysts yesterday. To pull off these big keynotes, two massive conference rooms are consolidated into one giant sit-down business rock concert. There is a huge lighting and projector rig with lots of BlackBerry branding floating across all the screens. Almost all of the WES attendees are here, thousands fill the seats tapping their BlackBerry smartphones.
Mike Lazaridis takes the stage and is greeted with warm applause from the audience. Here are some of the key points he shared with the WES audience:
- RIM has sold over 90 million BlackBerry smartphones sold to date.
- There are currently 41 Million Customers, Mike also mentioned he has a goal of growing that to 100-million users.
- “Efficiency is at the heart of everything we do” in reference to the Platform’s true strength. BlackBerry efficiently utilizes networks, battery, and software.
- 20 million users have downloaded App world, half of the devices in the wild. App World users download a million apps every day.
- “BlackBerry has the best apps, not the most apps” in reference to the quality of apps on BlackBerry App World.
- Super Apps work well together, and work well with native apps.
- Email was the platform’s first super app now developers can make them too.
- There are 20 million BBM users worldwide.
Lazaridis talked a bit about BBM, and how it’s a valuable business and collaboration tool – specially good for solving problems. I also enjoy using BBM as a collaborative tool, but it’s lacking some features that would allow it to replace a service such as BaseCamp.
BlackBerry 6 is a big talking point here at WES. According to Lazaridis, BlackBerry 6 is “The Next Step”. BlackBerry 6 will have an all-new user experience with good design fundamentals. It will be easy to use, powerful, fun and approachable.
The above video shows lots of app switching and lots of uses with three different “ideal” users.
BlackBerry 6 has lots of slick transitions and animations; the Super Apps philosophy seems present in every use in the demo. The new OS will have a communications and social network focus. The Webkit browser will deliver a full browsing experience as well. Lazaridis describes this new UI as changing “the way you live, work and play.”
We’ll continue to keep you posted about the show and everything we hear.