RIM No More, All Hail The BlackBerry

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By Vijaykumar Meti | January 31, 2013 10:20 PM EST

Research in Motion Ltd, launched the long-awaited two new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 smartphones Wednesday with a hope to regain the market share, which is currently dominated by Google Inc's Android powered devices. The company also changed its name to BlackBerry with a view to maintain a single brand.

In simultaneous live launch events in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai, Johannesburg, Jakarta and Delhi, CEO Thorsten Heins, announced that the company has renamed itself as BlackBerry.

The name change is a brilliant marketing move and comes at a time when the company desperately needs to reinvent itself, and disassociate from its past. "What this does is give the company a chance to redefine itself," said Edgar Baum, brand expert and the managing director of Brand Finance Canada.

As part of the name change, the company will trade under the "BB" ticker symbol on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) and "BBRY" on Nasdaq, starting Feb. 4. Further, its corporate website is also tipped to migrate to www.blackberry.com

In Canada, the touch-screen BlackBerry Z10 will be available from Feb. 5 at a retail price of around $149.99 with a three-year contract. (Pricing will vary by carrier provider).  While the BlackBerry Q10 with full QWERTY keypad is expected to be available from April, pricing of the Q10 was not disclosed at the launch event Wednesday.

In the Americas, Canada will be the first to get the device ahead of other markets, including the U.S.A. Except for the U.K. market which is set to possess the device from Jan.31; other countries will receive the touch-screen version Feb. 10, while the U.S. launch date is set for sometime in March.  

The delay in U.S. launch is a big disadvantage to BlackBerry. The six-week delay will allow competitors to steal BlackBerry's thunder. "It is a very, very important market to be in, and it's where they have lost ground," Telecom Analyst Tony Crandall pointed out in an interview with CBC News.

However, the delay seems unavoidable as the company continues to test the device with the carriers in the U.S.

PlayBook Tablet Tipped For Update

Meanwhile, the company's senior director for enterprise product management Jeff Holleran hinted that plans are afoot to upgrade the PlayBook tablet to make it compatible with BlackBerry's new features and functions.

"We intend to bring BlackBerry 10 functionality to the Playbook," Holleran told CBC News. "I can't reveal details about exactly when, but I can tell you that the Playbook picking up the BB10 code line is definitely on the roadmap for the future."

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