Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) closed Monday higher over 3 percent after the company announced it would hold a launch event for its new BlackBerry 10 handset and operating system in January. The January 30, 2013, date came as something of a surprise from the in-trouble company that had previously twice postponed the launch of the new device and platform this year. RIM had promised investors that it would finally unveil the new products in the first calendar quarter of 2013, but the January schedule is being seen as an unexpectedly positive move.
“In building BlackBerry 10, we set out to create a truly unique mobile computing experience that constantly adapts to your needs,” RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins said in a statement. “Our team has been working tirelessly to bring our customers innovative features combined with a best in class browser, a rich application ecosystem, and cutting-edge multimedia capabilities. All of this will be integrated into a user experience — the BlackBerry Flow — that is unlike any smartphone on the market today.”
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The launch is being considered a defining moment for a company that has seen the market share of its BlackBerry devices fall massively in the face of new products from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android manufacturers like Samsung. According to IDC, RIM’s global smartphone market share dropped to just over four percent in the third quarter. The company has struggled because of the loss in sales, cutting about 30 percent of its workforce this year.
RIM added in the statement that it would host the event simultaneously in several countries and provide details on the features, pricing, and availability of two new BlackBerry phones. It will be interesting to see how the new devices perform, considering the launch would be coming after the end of the crucial holiday shopping season.
RIM, whose stock price has fallen to its lowest level since 2003, closed at $8.81 on Monday.
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