Originally published as RIM Changes Name to BlackBerry, Releases BlackBerry 10 on Technorati.
At it’s BlackBerry 10 launch event Wednesday morning, Research in Motion released it’s newest mobile operating system, and also quelled any hesitation about it’s commitment to the platform by actually changing it’s name to BlackBerry. The company will now trade under the ‘BBRY’ ticker on Nasdaq, and ‘BB’ on TSX.
The importance of BlackBerry 10′s success can’t be underestimated in helping the company regain any of the swagger that it once had in the enterprise mobile market. The time when executives wearing belt-strapped company issued BlackBerrys is well past, and the ‘BYOD’ to work trend, where consumers prefer Android or iOS to the once ubiquitous BlackBerry, even for business is the new reality. So whatever compelling features, be it the physical keyboard, new touch screens, or BlackBerry Balance which lets users create profiles for work and personal profiles needs to resonate with the end-users of the platform.
Then there are the two devices, the BlackBerry Z10, which is all touch-screen, and the BlackBerry Q10, which features the traditional QWERTY keyboard that many BlackBerry users still desire, even if their numbers are small. The Q10 also features a small touchscreen above the keyboard. Both phones will be available to European markets, and Canada in February, and in the US in Marcy for the Z10, and April for the Q10.
CEO Thorsten Heins said “There’s a lot of physical-keyboard lovers out there. We heard you loud and clear.” He went on to promise that both touchscreen and physical-keyboard BB10 devices will offer the best typing experience on a smartphone.
The other important issue facing the new platform is apps, what will be available and what won’t? Some big ones are there for now, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, LinkedIn, FourSquare, and yes Angry Birds, according to this AllThingsD article on BB10 apps. But some are still up in the air, most notable Instagram, Spotify, Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Yea, pretty much all the video apps, and many music apps as well have yet to make their way to the new platform. During the event Wednesday morning, Heins said that the new BlackBerry World, which is what the BB app market is called, would have more than 70,000 apps at the time of launch.
If you do decide on upgrading your hardware if you’re a BlackBerry user, or anyone happens to make the switch from Android or iOS, there are plenty of options to sell your old hardware. The site USell.com will buy your old BlackBerry Bold 9900 for around $140 on average from a number of reliable buyers. This extra cash can be used to subsidize the cost of a new Z10, which is rumored to be priced around the $199 mark.
The release of BlackBerry 10 could not come fast enough, as Kantar Wordpanel’s December smartphone market share numbers peg BlackBerry market share in the US at 1.1% for December 2012. In the UK, market share for BlackBerry dipped to 4%, from 4.4% in November 2012. Slightly higher, but still not a large enough piece of the smartphone pie to survive as they have in the past, in a highly competitive and constantly changing smartphone industry.