New BlackBerry 10 to be released in US in mid-March

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There's concern the phone isn't coming out sooner after RIM announced a March U.S. release date last week.  (Reuters) There's concern the phone isn't coming out sooner after RIM announced a March U.S. release date last week. (Reuters)
SummaryThere's concern the phone isn't coming out sooner after RIM announced a March U.S. release date last week.

as the company is doing well in many places overseas. According to research firm IDC, shipments of BlackBerry phones plummeted from 46 percent of the U.S. market in 2008 to 2 percent in 2012. The iPhone and Android now dominate.

Heins, who one year ago replaced longtime executives who had presided over BlackBerry's fall, said he's confident BlackBerry can become the third ecosystem behind the iPhone and Android.

"We need to win back market share to be relevant,'' Heins said. ``We have to be aggressive in the U.S. market.''

To send a message that the BlackBerry is back, RIM ran an ad during Sunday's Super Bowl game in the U.S. suggesting that there's so much the new phones could do, it'd be easier to list the outlandish things that they can't. The Canadian company is also in the process of changing its name to BlackBerry to emphasize that brand.

Some analysts have questioned RIM's decision to release a touch-only version first considering that its most loyal users love the physical keyboard for typing.

Heins said the full touch screen was more complicated and they needed to focus on releasing that first. He has also acknowledged that RIM failed to quickly adapt to the emerging ``bring your own device'' trend, in which employees bring their personal touch-screen iPhones or Android devices to work instead of relying on BlackBerrys issued by their employers

Heins said the company wants to participate in that trend by releasing a touch version first.

Heins also addressed possible interest other companies might have in RIM should BlackBerry 10 prove successful and whether the Canadian government might block a foreign takeover.

"The recognition for BlackBerry 10 and what we built is pretty high. We got good reviews,'' he said. ``That moves you into the middle of the radar screen so I expect some activity around it but we'll look at it one by one. We'll assess it and we'll make decisions with the board on what make sense.''

Heins recently chatted with top Canadian government ministers, including the industry minister, at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"These guys are reasonable,

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