RIM To Unveil BlackBerry 10 Tomorrow
In what is likely to be a last-ditch effort to regain market share from the Apple iPhone and devices running Google’s Android OS, Canadian Research In Motion will officially unveil its BlackBerry 10 operating system tomorrow morning in New York. The new OS will power a new line of Blackberry smartphones that RIM hopes to put it back on the mobile map.
RIM is expected to reveal new Blackberry handsets at the event—including a touch-screen device boasting a fully QWERTY keyboard—as well as details surrounding launch dates and pricing for the new handsets.
“It’s an ultra-competitive market and most consumers have made up their minds on BlackBerry, so we believe RIM really needs to wow the audience,” RBC Capital Markets’ Mark Sue wrote to clients yesterday.
The hype surrounding BlackBerry 10 has already boosted RIM’s shares. Since it previewed the operating system in late September, RIM stock has risen 150 percent. Still, the current price of $15.28 is minute compared to the company’s $60 value two years ago and its peak of $140 in 2008—when Apple launched the iPhone 3G.
“While RIM has lost a huge amount of momentum and share, we also believe that the core installed base has been starved for a legitimate upgrade opportunity,” Peter Misek of Jefferies & Co. wrote in a note to clients last week when he upgraded RIM to a “buy” rating.
Still other analysts are skeptical of RIM’s prospects, and see a small window of opportunity for the company to cash in on public excitement.
“The highly competitive smartphone market will only offer them a short window to do this, and they’ll need to prove themselves in the face of a simultaneous onslaught of marketing from Microsoft, not to mention the continued push from Apple plus Google and its Android partners,” wrote Charles Golvin of Forrester Research in an email Monday. “This is a gargantuan challenge for a company of RIM’s size.”
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