RIM, Now Known as BlackBerry, Launches New BB10 Line
All BlackBerry did Wednesday was change its corporate name, introduce two new smartphones and launch a bold new mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10, that may be the struggling company’s last stab at relevance. On Monday, Feb. 4 it will be changing its stock ticker symbol to BBRY.
BlackBerry (they’re now no longer known as Research in Motion) still has some work to do, and early reviews of BlackBerry 10 have been mixed. But there are some promising signs out there.
Chief Executive Thorsten Heins also announced that RIM was abandoning the name it has used since its inception in 1985 to take the name of its signature product, signaling his hopes for a fresh start for the company that pioneered on-your-hip email.
“From this point forward, RIM becomes BlackBerry,” Heins said at the New York launch. “It is one brand; it is one promise.”
The new BlackBerry 10 phones will compete with Apple’s (NSQ:AAPL) iPhone and devices using Google’s (NSQ:GOOG) Android technology, both of which have soared above the BlackBerry in a competitive market.
The BlackBerry 10 devices boast fast browsers, new features, smart cameras and, unlike previous BlackBerry models, enter the market primed with a large application library, including services such as Skype and the popular game Angry Birds.
The BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen device, in black or white, will be the first to hit the market, with a country-by-country roll-out that starts in Britain on Thursday.
A Q10 model, equipped with small “qwerty” keyboard that RIM made into its trademark, will launch globally in April.
The Z10 device won a lukewarm review from Wall Street Journal tech blogger Walt Mossberg, who complained of missing or lagging features and a shortage of apps.
But David Pogue, who writes for The New York Times, apologized for describing BlackBerry as doomed in the past. The Z10 touchscreen device was “lovely, fast and efficient, bristling with fresh, useful ideas,” he said.