Beleaguered handset manufacturer
Research in Motion Limited
) has finally announced the launch date of its long-awaited
BlackBerry 10 operating system based smartphones. The company
expects to launch the smartphone on January 30, 2013 and is
currently fine-tuning the bits and pieces of the new phone. This
latest offering from RIMM is believed to be the last throw in the
dice for the Canadian manufacturer to stop its sliding smartphone
The new operating system is based on QNX software, which is
compatible with various open-source coding language, much more
user friendly and is expected to be loaded with more applications
as compared to its legacy handsets. The most innovative feature
is its updated touch screen keyboard, which allows the customers
to type entire words through simple gestures.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company declared that a touch
screen version of the device will be launched first followed by a
physical keyboard option while the lower-end version of the
device will be launched later in the year. However, the company
hasn't declared any specific date about when the smartphone will
be available in the stores.
RIMM, which invented the concept of mobile email with its
initial Blackberry devices has been struggling of late owing to
an increasing competition, primarily from
) iPhone and from other smartphone manufacturers, which runs on
) Android platform. The recent launch of
) Windows 8 platform has only aggravated the problem. The
company's market value has been wiped out by more than 90% as its
share plummeted to $8 from a peak of $148 in 2008.
Moreover, the entry of iPhone, Lumia and Galaxy into the
enterprise segment raises concern for RIMM, which had established
a strong foothold on the segment over the years. The company has
undertaken a major restructuring plan to create value for itself
by improving the effectiveness of its resources and enhancing its
operational efficiency, thereby saving $1 billion by the end of
Though RIMM still lags in the application front to Android and
iOS, the new range of smartphone is seen as a potential game
changer for them particularly in the lucrative North American
market. If the company can price the phone competitively, we
believe BB10 coupled with this new developed feature could lure
more enterprise clients, failing which can have serious
implications on its growth going forward.
We maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation on Research
in Motion. The company currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank,
implying a short-term Hold rating.
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