Share This Page

BlackBerry maker vows to continue transformation

| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 6:04 p.m.

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. reinvented itself with a revamped operating system, two new smartphones and a name change during a global introduction on Wednesday.

The Canadian smartphone maker — cast off by many consumers and analysts as a has-been tech company struggling to stay afloat — showed off its long-overdue BlackBerry 10 operating system and two phones: the touch screen-only Z10 and a traditional physical keyboard model called the Q10.

BlackBerry 10 features include separate work and personal profiles; time-saving ways to multi-task without closing applications; video chat with live screen sharing; and more than 70,000 applications. The touch screen on the Z10 has already earned early raves for its accurate auto-correct and predictive text, multi-language capabilities within the same email, and use of flicks and swipes to quickly select or delete words.

Chief Executive Thorsten Heins quickly set out to dispel notions that BlackBerry was on its way out.

“We have definitely been on a journey of transformation,” he told a crowd of reporters and bloggers in New York. “Today is not the finish line, it's the starting line.”

In a surprise announcement, RIM also changed its name to BlackBerry, a move that Heins said would unite the company behind the same brand. Its new ticker symbol will be BBRY.

In the United States, wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint will carry BlackBerry 10 devices. Heins said he expected the Z10 to be available with “most” carriers in March. Verizon has announced it will sell the Z10 for $199 with a two-year contract.

The question now will be whether consumers respond to the new OS and phones, particularly in the United States and other regions where BlackBerrys had lost favor to Apple.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.