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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

TECH WORLD: BlackBerry Readies iPhone Challenge!


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By CHIP CUMMINS And SPENCER E. ANTE, / http://online.wsj.com / AUGUST 3, 2011.

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New BlackBerry Bold - RIM.

Research In Motion Ltd. plans to release a bevy of new BlackBerry devices, a delayed effort to reinvigorate its flagging brand and claw back some of the market share it has hemorrhaged in North America.

Early Wednesday, RIM rolled out five new smartphones, including its first all-touch screen phone. RIM executives said the phones will be available in stores world-wide within weeks, offered by more than 200 carriers.

But it's unclear the new devices will be able to deliver the sort of buzz—and sales—that will help BlackBerry catch up quickly to offerings by Apple Inc. and Google Inc. RIM, which once dominated the sector, has taken more than a year to release a new model and is now a distant third place in North America.

The Canadian company's stock has fallen 68% year-to-date and on Tuesday closed at $24.15—near its 52-week low.

RIM has acknowledged that delays in launching the new phones have kept them out of some carriers' back-to-school programs, which will cost the company sales.

The new BlackBerrys also won't be running the company's recently acquired operating system, QNX. The company has bet its future on the new software, but QNX phones won't be ready until next year. Instead, the new models will run on an update to 
RIM's existing BlackBerry software.

RIM bought QNX last year, betting a major overhaul of its legacy software would help its phones compete better with faster video and other features. But QNX phones won't be ready until early next year.



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