Back in BlackBerry
John C Abell
With a brand-new smartphone—and a new brand—BlackBerry (neé Research in Motion) has embarked on a critical reboot aimed at restoring the fortunes of the company that sparked the mobile revolution.
RIM has been left for dead. For years it hasn’t been able to shake off the stink of irrelevance as the iPhone proved that apps were more important than a physical keyboard, and that mobile “push” e-mail wasn’t rocket science. It endured brand-damaging outages to its private network while competitors crowed that their reliance on a public network was far more stable.
Now the company is reinventing itself in a last-ditch effort to survive. In a press conference yesterday, it announced that it had changed its corporate name to “BlackBerry” to better identify with its iconic product. Meanwhile, it has dramatically upgraded that product after a two-year effort that resulted in new phones designed from scratch and powered by what would be a major mobile operating system: QNX.
BlackBerry’s new smartphones, the multi-touch Z10 and the Q10—which retains that keyboard some people still swear by—may be the company’s last best hope. I’ve had the Z10 for only a few hours, but if anything can rekindle our romance with RIM, this is it. These BB10 phones are a gambit—not a gamble. (I’ll be doing a full “Go Bag” review with the road warrior
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