February 4, 2013
The company formerly known as Research in Motion unveiled a new line of smartphones last week and announced it was changing its name to BlackBerry.
As The New York Times reports, the brand hopes to regain its status as a symbol of executive cool, after losing luster to Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android smartphones. The new BlackBerry 10 offers a better touch-screen typing experience than the competition, executives said.
“We wanted to have one brand, one premise, to focus all of our marketing efforts,” said Frank Boulben, chief marketing officer of BlackBerry.
On Sunday the company ran an ad during the Super Bowl to promote the BlackBerry Z10, a touch-screen phone with no physical keyboard, which was met with "mixed reactions" accroding to PCMag.com (watch the full ad here).
Analysts, reviewers and app developers with advance access to the device are reportedly calling it BlackBerry’s first competitive touch-screen phone. The Super Bowl ad also promotes the Q10, which combines a traditional BlackBerry keyboard with a smaller touch screen.
But since BlackBerry’s new products arrive long after Apple and Google have come to dominate the smartphone market, their success is far from certain. BlackBerry now holds just 4.6 percent of the market, about one-tenth of its peak, the Times reports.
Another challenge facing BlackBerry is that its new phone won’t be available in the United States until March, a month after the Super Bowl ads. — Greg Beaubien