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BlackBerry's Second Bite

Dan Jones
1/30/2013

9:00 PM -- Will a BlackBerry a day keep the profit warnings away? The company formerly known as Research In Motion has bowed to the inevitable and rechristened itself as BlackBerry as it launches the long-awaited 10 series phones. The name change has seemed like the obvious thing to do for a while now. Whenever I attended a trade show where the Canadian gadget maker was exhibiting, you never saw hide nor hair of the RIM branding. Everything was plastered with BlackBerry this and BB that. Just naming the company after fruit won't get the company its mobile mojo back though. (Side note: So the three leading smartphone operating systems -- Apple, Android and BlackBerry -- are either fruit-branded or updates named after snacks like Ice Cream Sandwich? Wild.) I suspect growth will have to come in the less smartphone-saturated parts of the world where a BlackBerry still has cachet. I'm honestly not sure what marketing genius can get BlackBerry back in the U.S. I sat listening to a group of people arguing -- for what seemed like hours -- in my local wine bar the other weekend about whether the iPhone 5 or Galaxy SIII was the best phone evah! I suspect I would have been laughed out of the place if I'd said, "Hey, what about a BlackBerry, have you seen the new phone they're coming out with?" A BlackBerry just doesn't occur to many people outside of the tech-nerd axis these days, in the same way that a Windows phone is a hard sell too. So, RIM -- sorry -- BlackBerry, will need to work its government contracts, shore up its enterprise base and build a bigger presence in the BRIC countries, where, let's face it, there's much less saturation, anyway. For more on BlackBerry 10 from around UBM Tech:

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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