REUTERS - Research In Motion Ltd on Wednesday unveiled a long-delayed line of smartphones it hopes will return the company to the top of a market it once dominated, promising its BlackBerry 10 devices will wow consumers and businesses alike when they hit store shelves.
The company also announced that it was changing its name to BlackBerry, hoping for brighten its tarnished image as it launches the BlackBerry 10.
Here is some early reaction to the launch:
CHARLES GOLVIN, WIRELESS ANALYST, FORRESTER RESEARCH:
"The keyboard is really fantastic. ... It learns about you ... it infers what might be the mostly likely word that you might use based on other things you've written in the past."
"I think the device lives up to the hype. It really is an outstanding device, both in terms of industrial design and software, it's really excellent. - unsure about this wording, phone was uneven
"However, our data show that in the U.S. only about two in five blackberry customers say that their next phone will be a Blackberry and this is a huge problem. What this device has to do is first change those people's minds, and then they also have to convince all the people that they lost to come back."
"I think that a realistic success here for BlackBerry is staunching the bleeding, not losing any more share and maybe clawing back a couple of points of market share."
ERIC JACKSON, MANAGING PARTNER, IRONFIRE CAPITAL LLC
"the real news was the shipping dates. The biggest disappointment was the delay in the US - that it will take so long before the devices get going there."
"All in all I'm still confident that a lot of the subscriber base are going to want the upgrade to BB10. It's a very strong improvement over what they currently have. This is not going to cause mass defections from iOS and Android, but it doesn't have to be a success for RIM. You've got to start somewhere."
PETER MISEK, ANALYST, JEFFERIES & CO
"This puts them back in the game."
"The big blow away factor for me is, you have a larger screen and you can do everything with one hand.
"As expected, as delivered, solid device and presentation. I'm looking forward to how consumers react, and how much buzz it generates, and whether the enterprise embraces it."
ADAM LEACH, PRINCIPLE ANALYST AT OVUM
"I think the product looks good. I think they tried hard to differentiate from what's out there and I think they've ended up delivering something which looks distinctive in the market."
"They've done well to pitch it as they haven't completely thrown out the many things that were good about BlackBerry and they've kind of done them well to enhance those and then build a new user experience around that."
"The other thing they've done is getting the content and application deals in place, and I think that was kind of critical thing for them to get right."
"I think they can definitely carve out a niche for themselves in the smartphone market... There's room for more than two players in that market."
"It's unlikely, from what we've seen today, that they will go on to overturn Android and its dominant market position, or return to the 25-30 percent market share that they had."
"Obviously the better thing would be for it to be available everywhere right now, but I think as long as we're talking now or next week or the next couple of months, that's okay."
SAL MASIONIS, STOCKBROKER, BRANT SECURITIES
"I think that the marketing presentation was not as good - you gotta have the pizzazz. Really, you're buying a product -- it could be a game changer -- but people have to get excited about it, to buy it, to use it."
The scheduled U.S. launch in March is "a little bit of a problem too. When you have a marketing thing, you like to have it so that people can buy it."
"It's a very uphill battle -- the fight. They have to market it right. They have to market it in such a way that it's a little bit different than the iPhones and go for the encryption part of it, because that's where the corporates -- you have to go for the corporates, that's where the money is.
CAROLINA MILANESI, RESEARCH VP, GARTNER
"The most exciting thing for me was the lack of mention of email and the focus on everything else that consumers want to do with a device. This is the new BlackBerry. The change in brand is also a good move: one name, one brand, one promise. Shopping time could have been better, but I think that they are being cautious on supply."
MARK SUE, ANALYST, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS
"So far so good, the buzz seems mostly positive. It's an ultra-competitive industry, however, so it's going to be a tough fight for BlackBerry, which has limited resources. Beyond the form factor, elegant software, RIM has to get partners to help win this battle ... BlackBerry needs carrier partners to promote the new devices, apps partners to build the ecosystem, and enterprises to commit to the device. So it comes down to how many "likes" BlackBerry can get from its friends."
CARL HOWE, VICE-PRESIDENT FOR CONSUMER RESEARCH GROUP, YANKEE GROUP
"the device stacks up well against iPhone and Android devices. I believe it will quickly gain ground with BlackBerry lovers and with business that have invested in BES enterprise infrastructures. Because BlackBerry controls its entire ecosystem including software, hardware, and services, it can move quicker than Android and Windows can. We see BlackBerry rapidly becoming a solid third ecosystem behind Apple and Android."
IAN NAKAMOTO, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, MACDOUGALL, MACDOUGALL & MACTIER
ON STOCK PRICE:
"I think a lot of it was built into the market and people are taking some profits. They took some profits yesterday and even Friday. ... It was such a well advertised-launch date that people moved the stock up and then they took profits ahead of when it was going to be revealed.
"For RIM, it's a normal stock market day. It would have been an abnormal stock market day if it had got cut in half or something."
MICHAEL GARTENBERG, ANALYST, GARTNER
"RIM has clearly reinvented itself with a new set of devices and a platform. It's definitely met the table stakes for many users. The challenge will be to keep the momentum going for developers and apps and leveraging the Blackberry brand. Blackberry delivered the first step but this is a marathon not a sprint."
(Compiled By Frank McGurty)
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