Research In Motion Ltd renamed itself BlackBerry and unveiled the new BlackBerry 10 line-up at an event in New York this morning, aiming to lure back customers who have defected to Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co.
Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins took the stage to introduce a touch-screen phone called the Z10 and a model named the Q10 with a qwerty keyboard, both of which will run the new BB10 software. The Z10, which starts at $199 with a wireless contract, will be available on January 31 in the UK, on February 5 in Canada, and in March in the US. The Q10 will follow in coming weeks, the company said. “We have transformed ourselves inside and out, and we have defined our vision... which makes today the perfect time for another big announcement I want to share. From this point forward, RIM becomes BlackBerry.” Heins said at the New York launch. “It is one brand; it is one promise.”
The event marks a do-or-die moment for Heins and the company, which has seen its market share fall to a quarter of what it was three years ago. They’re counting on the BlackBerry 10 to reverse that slide and ultimately return the Waterloo, Ontario-based company to profitability.
“This thing has to have legs,” said Gus Papageorgiou, an analyst at Scotia Capital in Toronto.
|BEHOLD THE Z10
|OS: BlackBerry 10
Display: 4.2-inch, 1,280 x 768, four-point multitouch
Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core
Storage: 16 GB internal, hot-swappable MicroSD up to 32 GB
Camera (rear/front): 8MP/2MP
Talktime: Up to 10 hours on 3G (claimed)
Sources: BlackBerry, tech websites & Agencies
The touch version of the phone relies on a virtual keyboard that learns where you usually hit the keys.