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By Euan Rocha and Janet Guttsman
WATERLOO, Ontario, Nov 14 (Reuters) - A new line of BlackBerry 10 devices will provide Research In Motion RIM.TO RIMM.O with a framework for growth over the next decade, offering long-term value for unhappy shareholders, Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said on Wednesday.
In an interview with Reuters, Heins said RIM had identified $800 million of the $1 billion of savings it promised for the financial year ending in early March, and was confident of finding the rest as it gets ready to launch the new phones.
RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, is betting that the new smartphones will help it claw back the market share it has lost to the likes of Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) iPhone and devices powered by Google’s (GOOG.O) Android operating system.
Both consumers and corporate customers have abandoned the BlackBerry in droves, even though the devices offer security features that rivals have been unable to match.
“There’s this high-level security that you cannot walk away from, and then there’s ‘good enough’ security,” Heins said.
But analysts remain skeptical, especially after the botched 2011 launch of RIM’s PlayBook tablet computer, which the company had hoped would compete with Apple’s wildly popular iPad.
RIM delayed the roll-out of the BlackBerry 10 phones to the first quarter of 2013 so as not to repeat the errors that surrounded the PlayBook launch.
Heins said the delay was the correct decision -- the way to ensure the BB10 phones are a high-quality product rather than a rushed one that would not meet customer expectations.
“I think it’s all lining up. Sometimes you get the feeling that the universe is in disarray, and with BlackBerry 10 coming, I see the stars lining up,” he said in the interview, conducted at RIM’s sprawling campus in Waterloo.
He insisted that morale was high at the company, despite 5,000 job cuts and a rapidly sliding market share ahead of the launch of the new phones.
RIM’s share price is down more than 90 percent from a 2008 peak of about $148. It has fallen steeply even after Heins, a former Siemens AG executive, took over in January. The shares on Wednesday closed at $8.49 on Nasdaq.
“The message to our shareholders is that we understand this is and has been a difficult time for them and for us.” Heins said. “But with the development of the BlackBerry 10 platform we are truly convinced that we will create long-term value for RIM’s shareholders and investors.”
(Reporting by Euan Rocha and Janet Guttsman; Editing by Frank McGurty and Leslie Adler)
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