BlackBerry eyes future beyond its new line of devices

Tue Feb 5, 2013 3:39pm EST
 

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Barely a week after launching an all-new, make-or-break line of smartphones, BlackBerry is already looking at a future in which it is a leader in "mobile computing," Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said on Tuesday.

Heins said BlackBerry is aiming to reclaim its spot as an innovator in a world where smartphones already have the processing power to replace tablets and laptops.

The company, which changed its name from Research In Motion when it launched its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones a week ago, pioneered on-the-go email before losing ground to nimbler rivals with faster devices. It is now out to explore new territory.

"This isn't just about smartphones and tablets," Heins, who took over as CEO just over a year ago, said in an interview soon after the launch of the BlackBerry 10 devices.

"The architecture we have built is true mobile computing architecture. It's not a downgraded PC operating system. It is a whole new innovation built from scratch. It's built for mobile."

While speaking at the Empire Club of Canada on Tuesday, Heins reiterated his message: "BlackBerry 10 is not just a device. It is a whole new mobile computing platform," he said.

Despite a number of glowing reviews for the BB10 and reports of strong initial sales, however, some analysts and technology pundits are skeptical about BlackBerry's chances of mounting a comeback, doubting its ability to sell either enough smartphones or manage to transform the way people work.

"The Street cares about how many units of these (devices) they're going to sell and that is the balancing act," said John Jackson, an industry analyst at consulting firm IDC.   Continued...

 
Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins attends a launch event for the new Blackberry Z10 device at a Rogers store in Toronto February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch