RIM, now known as BlackBerry, launches new BB10 line
By Euan Rocha and Sinead Carew
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Research In Motion Ltd unveiled the long-delayed line of smartphones it hopes will put it on the comeback trail on Wednesday but it disappointed investors by saying U.S. sales of its all-new BlackBerry 10 will start only in March.
Chief Executive Thorsten Heins also announced that RIM was abandoning the name it has used since its inception in 1985 to take the name of its signature product, signaling his hopes for a fresh start for the company that pioneered on-your-hip email.
"From this point forward, RIM becomes BlackBerry," Heins said at the New York launch. "It is one brand; it is one promise."
RIM, which is already starting to call itself BlackBerry, had initially planned to launch the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones in 2011. But it pushed the date back twice as it struggled to work with a new operating system.
Ahead of Wednesday's announcements, analysts had said that any launch after February would be a black mark for the Canadian company.
"The biggest disappointment was the delay in the U.S., that it will take so long before the devices get going there," said Eric Jackson, founder and managing Partner at Ironfire Capital LLC in New York.
Heins said the delays reflected the need for U.S. carrier testing, although carrier AT&T offered few clues on what that meant.
"We are very enthusiastic about the devices. We will announce pricing, availability, and other information at a later date. Beyond that, nothing to add," said spokesman Mark Siegel. Continued...