RIM launches new BlackBerry Bold smartphone

Mon May 2, 2011 4:28pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Research In Motion showed off a new version of its BlackBerry Bold phone with upgraded software on Monday, aiming to regain its stride after last week's profit warning and other recent stumbles.

RIM also said it will manage corporate and government communications sent using Apple's iPhone and iPad, as well as devices running Google's Android software, through its secure BlackBerry Enterprise Server. It's an implicit acknowledgment by RIM that its grip on the sector has weakened.

The company aims to capitalize on the BlackBerry's enhanced security features and its established role controlling employee access to corporate data while out of the office.

For years, businesses and government agencies have given the BlackBerry to millions of workers in need of mobile access to workplace applications. But many now prefer using their own Apple and Android-powered devices.

"Device diversity is a reality," Co-chief Executive Jim Balsillie told analysts at an annual conference in Florida.

RIM said the new touchscreen phone it announced on Monday is its thinnest and its most powerful yet.

When the device becomes available worldwide in the summer it will support the world's two most widely used network technologies, GSM and CDMA.

Analysts said the company would need more than one new product to generate investor excitement and investors shrugged off the announcement, sending RIM shares down 1.3 percent to $48.05 on Monday. It dropped 14 percent on Friday after the profit warning.   Continued...

<p>The new BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone. REUTERS/Handout</p>