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BlackBerry 10 unveiled, RIM changes name (Photos)

RIM Blackberry Makeover

Mark Lennihan

The BlackBerry Z10 is displayed, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 in New York. The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone is promising a speedy browser, a superb typing experience and the ability to keep work and personal identities separate on the same phone, the fruit of a crucial, long-overdue makeover for the Canadian company.

BlackBerry 10 launch 2013

Courtesy Hartmann Studios/BlackBerry/Flickr

Thorsten Heins, president and chief executive officer of BlackBerry, presents the company's new phones: BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10 at an event in New York City January 30, 2013.

BlackBerry 10

Courtesy Hartmann Studios/BlackBerry/Flickr

A close-up of Thorsten Heins, president and chief executive officer of BlackBerry, as he presents the company's new phones: BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10.

BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry

Research in Motion unveiled the new BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10 at an event in New York City Jan. 30, 2013.


After lengthy delays, Research In Motion Ltd. unveiled its first two phones with the new BlackBerry 10 system. The Q10 will have a physical keyboard, while the Z10 has only a touch-screen keyboard. RIM says it will also change its name to BlackBerry to maintain a single brand. It will have the ticker symbol "BBRY" on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

RIM redesigned the BlackBerry system to embrace the multimedia, apps and touch-screen experience prevalent today. The question is whether there's time for the once-pioneering BlackBerry to catch up to Apple's trend-setting iPhone and devices running Google's Android system.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins hosted the main event in New York. Video of his appearance was shown at other RIM events in Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai, Johannesburg, New Delhi and Jakarta, Indonesia.

RIM initially said BlackBerry 10 would come by early 2012, but then the company changed that to late 2012. A few months later, that date was pushed further, to early 2013, missing the lucrative holiday season. The holdup helped wipe out more than $70 billion in shareholder wealth and 5,000 jobs.

RIM had shown off prototypes and previews before. Wednesday's event was the first time RIM showed off a complete product and announced some details on availability.

Most analysts consider a BlackBerry 10 success to be crucial for the company's long-term viability.

RIM is promising a speedier device, a superb typing experience and the ability to keep work and personal identities separate on the same phone. Previews of the BlackBerry 10 software have gotten favorable reviews on blogs. Financial analysts are starting to see some slight room for a comeback. With smartphone sales growing, the BlackBerry 10 can succeed without iPhone and Android users switching.

Regardless of BlackBerry 10's advances, though, the new system will face a key shortcoming: It won't have as many apps written by outside companies and individuals as the iPhone and Android.

Here's a running account of the BlackBerry 10 event, presented in reverse chronological order. All times are EST. Besides Heins, presenters include Alec Saunders, vice president of developer relations, and Martyn Mallick, vice president of global alliances. Frank Boulben, chief marketing officer, joined in a question-and-answer session with reporters.

 

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