Back when the BlackBerry Z10 launched internationally, I was pretty high on the OS, saying that the company formerly known as RIM would be able to sell more units than the Windows Phone camp this year. I still believe that, because the platform has plenty to offer both existing CrackBerry addicts and even those who defected to other platforms. The UI is slick, and it’s easy to both keep tabs on all of your messages and social updates and respond quickly with BlackBerry 10’s killer keyboard.
Now comes the tough part: persuading more developers to jump on board. BlackBerry is off to an OK start, offering social staples like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Foursquare, along with USA Today, Slacker and Flikster. I’m also encouraged by the fact that real 3D games are showing up, like Nova 3. Still, some key apps are missing, from Spotify, Pandora and Instagram to TripIt, Yelp and Netflix. The real battle between BlackBerry and Windows Phone is over developers.
Outlook: BlackBerry may have shot itself in the foot by staggering its U.S. launch for the Z10 — and Sprint is only selling the keyboard-equipped Q10. A big marketing push is needed to move the needle now that the Galaxy S4 is upon us.