RIM to rename itself BlackBerry, hoping for fresh start

Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:54am EST
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* Move comes as company launches BlackBerry 10 phones

* Company hopes to leverage goodwill of BlackBerry brand

* Shareholders must approve formal name change

* Stock to be listed as "BB" on TSX, "BBRY" on Nasdaq

By Euan Rocha

NEW YORK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Research In Motion Ltd is changing its name to BlackBerry, the company announced on Wednesday, in move to refresh its tarnished image as it begins marketing a reengineered line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

The announcement, made by Chief Executive Thorsten Heins as the company formally launched the BlackBerry 10, signals the company's hopes for a streamlined identity as it embarks on a make-or-break drive to regain lost ground in the smartphone market it once dominated.

"BlackBerry is how we're known pretty much everywhere across the world other than North America, so we have an iconic global brand and when you have such a powerful brand, you want to make it central," said Frank Boulben, BlackBerry's chief marketing officer, in an interview.

The switch underscores the close attention the company is paying to marketing as it launches a product considered crucial to its survival. In the past, it was roundly criticized for botching the launch of the PlayBook tablet and other devices.   Continued...