Can rebranded, revamped BlackBerry make a comeback?

After a couple of high-profile and costly delays, RIM today finally unveiled a couple of BlackBerry 10 smartphones, and even changed its name to BlackBerry for good measure. But shares of the company are plunging, down more than 6 percent to $14.70 on the Nasdaq as of this post. They were trading at more than $16 this morning before the company’s presentation.

Today’s unveiling is being called RIM’s last stand as it goes after Google‘s Android and Apple‘s iPhone in the highly competitive mobile market. But in the crucial U.S. market — one that used to be dominated by BlackBerry — the first phone, the touchscreen Z10, won’t be available till mid-March, which CEO Thorsten Heins reportedly blamed on the amount of time U.S. carriers are taking to test the devices. Verizon has said it will sell the Z10 for $199 with a contract, according to the Wall Street Journal. (The first market to get the Z10 is the U.K., where it will be available this week. Canada and the United Arab Emirates get it next week.) The Q10, which will have the physical keyboard BlackBerry loyalists are used to, could be ready in April, Heins reportedly said.

Along with the BB10, BlackBerry’s new operating system, the phones are getting mixed reviews. Walt Mossberg writes for AllThingsD that the phones are “a radical reinvention,” and  BB10 “has a chance of getting RIM back into the game” if it can attract developers to create many more apps for its ecosystem. But Joshua Topolsky’s review of the Z10 for the Verge is less generous. While he writes that the phone is “a better smartphone than I expected from RIM at this stage in the game,” he also says it is not better than smartphones already on the market.


Tags: , , , , , ,


Share this Post