Well, the library of third-party applications is the biggest reason. The iPhone and Android have a huge head start when it comes to getting developers to make applications that run on their phones. RIM says BlackBerry 10 will launch in the US with about 100,000 apps. That sounds like a big number, and it includes important apps such as Skype and Facebook.
But it's inevitable that the iPhone will have apps you want but can't get on BlackBerry 10. There's no Instagram, no Netflix. It's also obvious that the number includes some apps that were written for the PlayBook tablet and don't work well on the smaller phone screen.
But the biggest obstacle to a RIM comeback is simply that the iPhone and Android have become the default for phone buyers, and few will see a reason to try something else. Microsoft, which has vastly more resources than RIM, has tried for two years to get people to buy Windows Phones, with very little to show for it.
Sam Shperling with Gameloft holds the new Blackberry 10 while playing his company's game, Nova in New York. AP/Mark Lennihan
BlackBerry 10 is nice, but I can't point to anything about it that would make me say, "Forget those other phones: you have to buy this one."
About the BlackBerry Z10:
It's the first of the phones to use the BlackBerry 10 operating system, an attempt to bring the once-pioneering BlackBerry in line with the iPhone and Android devices. It's not coming in the US until March. All major carriers will have it, likely for about $200 with a two-year service contract.
The Z10 will have only a touch-screen keyboard. BlackBerry fans wanting a physical keyboard will have to wait at least a month for the BlackBerry Q10.
Have a look at what other experts are saying about BlackBerry's latest launch:
The Blackberry Z10 Is A Solid First Offering For BB10 Hardware, But The App Gap Looms Large
With the Z10, BlackBerry has created a smartphone that’s worthy of being mentioned in the same conversation as the latest Android devices and the iPhone. That alone is an accomplishment for a company that has seemed on the verge of extinction for quite a while now. But a lot of what they’ve provided with this flagship device is narrowing, or at best, eliminating the feature and hardware gap between it and the two mobile platforms that have legions of users already, including a number who have already migrated away from BlackBerry devices.
The First BlackBerry 10 Phone Is Exceptional, But Perplexing
I like a lot of what RIM's done here. The Hub, while not perfect, is a well-thought-out solution to "message creep" on smartphones today. The multitasking is excellent, on par with Palm/HP's dearly departed webOS platform. And that slide-to-unlock trick is hot. However, BlackBerry 10 stumbles, first right out of the gate with its steep learning curve, and second with its anemic app selection that doesn't provide apps (like Vine) that deliver the full mobile experience that today's digital consumers want.
RIM’s BlackBerry Rebranding Is Much More Than a Name Change
By changing its name and launching an excellent operating system that runs on impressive phones, BlackBerry is doing more than writing a new chapter. It’s starting a new book. The importance of this cannot be overstated as the company that once defined the smartphone segment struggles to remain relevant in the era of Google and Apple.
BlackBerry must convince its small, but passionate, base to stay with the program while also attracting new customers who might have never considered a Z10 or Q10. That’s going to be tough, because Android leads the market with 52.5% and Apple holds another 34.3%.
"While BB10 seems to have a similar platform and experience, users on other devices will have to be convinced that BB10 offers something much better," said Gartner analyst Brian Blau.
BlackBerry Z10 review
BlackBerry's BlackBerry Z10 is genuinely a pretty nice phone. Performance, helped by the lightweight QNX-based OS, is more than acceptable. The form factor offers you plenty of screen size in a device that may not feel luxurious, but does at least seem durable. And, bucking the trend, the battery is removable. Camera performance is adequate in most cases and overall there's really a lot to like.
But, tragically, there's really nothing to love. Nothing in the Z10 stands out as class-leading and, while the BB10 OS does have a lot of charm and brings all the best productivity-focused attributes of BlackBerry to bear in a much more modern package, the app selection is poor and the gestures here aren't so good that they make up for that major shortcoming. Will more and better apps come with time? Absolutely, but after waiting this long (and then making Americans wait another month yet) BlackBerry really needed to make a huge impact out of the gate. Unfortunately, it hasn't.
BlackBerry redefines itself
Timeline: From RIM to BlackBerry, a company in transition