Analysts are concerned about how long it will take for the phones to go on sale in the United States.
In an event on Wednesday in New York to unveil a line of new smartphones and new software to operate them, Thorsten Heins, the company’s chief executive, synchronized the names as BlackBerry. But because the new name is now tied to the company’s hopes of restoring its main product’s status as a symbol of executive cool, the change carries some risk.
Frank Boulben, chief marketing officer of BlackBerry, said that Research in Motion had become more confusing than inspired. “We thought this was time to symbolize a real change with a name change,” Mr. Boulben said. “We wanted to have one brand, one premise, to focus all of our marketing efforts.”
Those efforts will reach new heights on Sunday, when BlackBerry will run an ad during the Super Bowl promoting the BlackBerry Z10, a touch-screen phone, and the BlackBerry Q10, a phone that combines a traditional BlackBerry physical keyboard with a smaller touch screen.
The new name was the biggest surprise in Mr. Heins’s presentation. The company began demonstrating the touch-screen phone and operating system in May and also made prototypes available to app developers at that time.
But Mr. Heins kept the focus on the phones. “Today represents a new day in the history of BlackBerry,” he said. “These BlackBerry 10 devices are absolutely the best typing experiences in the industry.”
Analysts, technology reviewers and app developers with advance access to the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry 10 operating system liked the Z10, calling it the company’s first competitive touch-screen phone.
But the BlackBerry 10 arrives long after Apple’s iPhone and phones using Google’s Android operating system have come to dominate the smartphone market, so its success is anything but assured. According to IDC, BlackBerry now holds just 4.6 percent of that market, about one-tenth of its peak market share.
via The New York Times – IAN AUSTEN
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