Hello BlackBerry, Welcome to the Nasdaq!
Analysts and investors have long wondered why Research in Motion stuck to its cumbersome moniker as long as did, but the company has finally caught up. During the unveiling of the BlackBerry 10 operating system and its two new smartphones last Wednesday, the company unexpectedly announced a name change: Research in Motion will now be known as BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY).
As part of this transformation, BlackBerry began trading on the Nasdaq on Monday, February 4.
“We have redefined ourselves inside and out,” the company’s Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins said in his presentation. “RIM becomes BlackBerry! It is one brand, it is one promise.”
Since the third quarter of 2009, when the company’s market share was at a record 20.8 percent, both its stock price and share of the ever-growing smartphone market have plummeted. Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) share eclipsed that of Research in Motion in 2010, and in 2012 the company took just 4.7 percent of the market, behind both Apple’s iPhone and devices powered by Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android. Research in Motion’s stock price fell correspondingly; its five-year high came in June of 2008, when its stock was trading at $144.56. But since then, investors have lost confidence in the company, and the stock closed on February 1 at $13.02 per share.
The company’s fall from grace has been described in near-apocalyptic terms, and in keeping with tradition, its new operating system has been termed by technology publications as a potential savior for Research in Motion. With its change of name, Research in Motion has played up to this image, clearly aligning its future prospects to the BlackBerry brand.
“This change from Research In Motion to BlackBerry comes at a defining moment in our company’s history,” the company added in a press release. And some experts agree. The release quoted research firm IDC’s Vice President of Consumer, Clients & New Media Research, Danielle Levitas. “The BlackBerry name is synonymous with the company and its products and this move is a logical step forward as the company launches new devices and the BlackBerry 10 platform,” she said.
BlackBerry also changed its corporate website to www.blackberry.com from www.rim.com.
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