Research in Motion has held its much vaunted relaunch and amongst all the expected announcements for its new OS and smartphones was one surprise as the company decided to change its name. Research in Motion is henceforth to be called BlackBerry – even more tightly tying the company into the success or failure of its operating system.
The company’s CEO, Thorsten Heins made the announcement: “From this point forward — we are BlackBerry. One brand. One promise. Our customers use a BlackBerry, our employees work for BlackBerry, and our shareholders are owners of BlackBerry.”
The company also showed off its latest make or break OS, and two new handsets.
BlackBerry is retaining its classic keyboard design in one of the two models saying that a lot of consumers still prefer a physical keyboard to a touchscreen, and they are increasingly being marginalised by the lack of alternatives.
Despite the physical keyboard, the display screen itself is also still touchscreen based.
The other model, the Z10 is a more conventional single touchscreen model.
When introducing the BlackBerry Z10, Thorsten Heins said, “This is the most beautiful BlackBerry we have ever launched. I can’t wait for you to try it out. We knew a large beautiful display was important. This is the window into the BlackBerry 10 experience.”
OS upgrades include the ability to multitask with up to 8 applications running at once, with four of them able to be displayed working on the screen at the same time in individual small windows.
The BlackBerry Messenger has been upgraded to support video calls, and the sharing of what is being seen on a users phone display.
The keyboard software has also been improved by adding a learning system to pick up the users own typing methods and correct mistakes.
The new phones go on sale in selected global markets.