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RIM Changes Name, Intros New Hardware, Slides Into Irrelevance

January 31, 2013

By Paul Thomson :: 8:49 AM

Blackberry 10 announcementBlackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) yesterday unveiled its new line of smartphones, the BlackBerry 10, and also announced that it was changing the name of the company to BlackBerry.

It was a big announcement with a lot of press hoopla around it, but in the end, it did little to excite anyone about the future of the once-dominant smartphone platform. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins failed to sell the new hardware as a viable option for keeping the company relevant in the age of iOS and Android devices.

The company’s stock, which had started the day yesterday just above $16, fell to pre-opening levels of $12.87 this morning, a drop that the company was clearly not expecting to happen.

Despite some good technological gains, such as video chat via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), screen sharing – unique to the platform – BlackBerry Remember, Picture Editor, Story Maker, and new supported apps such as Skype, Amazon Kindle, SAP, and Angry Birds, the company is too late in the game to gain widespread platform adoption in the way the other market players have been able to.

In a bold move, BlackBerry announced that singer Alicia Keys would be their Global Creative Director, but a look at her Twitter history reveals that she has a threadbare relationship with the company – most of her Tweets have been sent out via her iPhone.

Back when BlackBerry was the only game in town for enterprise-level service and messaging, the world was their oyster. However, after the 2007 release of the iPhone, and then Android to the smartphone landscape, the company just did not move quickly enough to ensure their position at the top of the mobile food chain.