BlackBerry 10 launch axes shares even as analysts beat retreat over earlier reviews

Jan 31 2013, 10:58 IST
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SummaryZ10 device won a lukewarm review from The Wall Street Journal's tech blogger Walt Mossberg.

going to want the upgrade to BlackBerry 10. It's a very strong improvement over what they currently have. This is not going to cause mass defections from iOS and Android, but it doesn't have to be a success for RIM. You've got to start somewhere," said Jackson of Ironfire, which owns shares in RIM.

The Z10 device won a lukewarm review from The Wall Street Journal's tech blogger Walt Mossberg, who complained of a shortage of apps.

On the other hand, David Pogue, who writes for The New York Times, apologized for describing BlackBerry as doomed in the past. The Z10 touchscreen device was "lovely, fast and efficient, bristling with fresh, useful ideas," he said.

While technology analysts conceded that RIM has done quite a remarkable job on many of the features of BlackBerry 10 and on the array of its app selection for a new platform, many argue it will be a very tough slog for RIM to regain its crown.

"I don't think that RIM will return to its glory days," said Charles Golvin, analyst at Forrester Research. "Success for them looks like staunching the bleeding and clawing back a percentage or point or two of market share."

Announcements about pricing so far have been in line with expectations. U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless said the phone would cost $199 for a two-year contract, while Canada's Rogers Communications is quoting C$149 ($150) for certain three-year plans.

GLITZY LAUNCH

RIM picked a range of venues for its global launch parties, including Dubai's $650-a-night Armani Hotel, which occupies six floors of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower.

The New York event took place in a sprawling basketball facility on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, just north of the Manhattan Bridge. The BlackBerry has been "Re-designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented," RIM said.

RIM, which is splurging on a Super Bowl ad to promote its new phones, also introduced Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Alicia Keys as its global creative director.

"I was in a long-term relationship with BlackBerry and then I started to notice some new, kind of hotter, attractive, sexier phones at the gym, and I kind of broke up with you for something that had a little more bling," Keys said at the New York launch.

"But I always missed the way you organized my life and the way you were there for me at my job, and so I started to have two phones - I was kind of playing the field. But

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