Annapolis company provides software in BlackBerry 10 [Capital (Annapolis, MD)]
(Capital (Annapolis, MD) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The BlackBerry 10 features software from Annapolis-based TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.
The BlackBerry 10's debut in the United States will feature maps and other software with Annapolis ties.
TeleCommunication Systems Inc.'s local search and navigation services are included in the new BlackBerry platform. It also will feature the company's NAVBuilder Inside software, which offers components for third-party developers to build upon.
This template serves as the foundation for the creation of other apps that can do anything from showing positions on a map to identifying how much time it could take to get to a meeting.
"In effect, it's a set of libraries that make maps and navigation work, and that's the essence of what we've built here together," said Jay Whitehurst, TCS' senior vice president of the Commercial Software Group. He called from BlackBerry headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario. "There are certain carriers where you hear their name and navigation and there's a probability that it's our navigation system reached in with their name in it."
TCS is based in Annapolis and reported $487.4 million in revenue last year.
In January, the BlackBerry 10 was launched at events in New York and five overseas countries. Company officials are billing it as a reinvented and redesigned platform that is available on two new smartphones, the BlackBerryZ10 and BlackBerryQ10.
The Z10 is an all-touch device, while the Q10 offers touch and a physical keyboard. Previous reports indicated the BlackBerry 10 won't be available in the United States until mid-March. The first device to be offered will be the Z10, followed by the Q10 phone.
In recent years, the BlackBerry has struggled to find footing in the smartphone world. It has been mocked in the New York Times, where its users were compared to Myspace users, and lagged behind other devices. Last year, Nielsen identified the Android as the top U.S. smartphone operating system with 52 percent of the market share. Apple had 35 percent and BlackBerry had 7 percent.
At PCMag.com, lead mobile analyst Sascha Segan said the BlackBerry 10 will give the company more respect. However, there is nothing memorable about it that will put it over the top.
"Considering that Android and Apple owns so much of the market, a new entrance really has to have some sort of shocking advantage or start a new feature that causes people to stop in their tracks and say 'wow'," said Segan, who is based in New York. "It doesn't mean that these are bad operating systems. It just means that there's a lot of inertia behind the dominant players."
Still, BlackBerry continues to have a loyal fan base. President Barack Obama is a known user and a New York Times columnist recently used the BlackBerry 10 and apologized for once saying the company is doomed.
"It is a global market for mobile devices and we tend to be very focused on what goes on in North America," said Brian Salisbury, TCS' senior director of Navigation Business Development. "When you look at the rest of the world, BlackBerry has a strong position in many international markets and is by no means losing market share on an equal basis around the world."
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