RIM launches five new BlackBerry smartphones
Canada's Research in Motion on Wednesday announced plans for five new BlackBerry smartphones, the largest global product launch in the company's history.
RIM, which has seen its stock price slump as it faces tough competition from Apple's iPhone and others, said it would introduce two new "BlackBerry Bold" models and three of its "BlackBerry Torch," all of which use the new BlackBerry 7 operating system.
"The launch of this family of handsets will be RIMs largest global launch ever and more than 225 carriers and distribution partners have already commenced or completed over 500 certification programs for these five new handsets," the Waterloo, Ontario-based company said in a statement.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 are RIM's "thinnest smartphones ever," the company said, each with a large keyboard and touch display.
The new BlackBerry Torch 9810 combines a large touch display with a slide-out keyboard while the Torch 9850 and 9860 introduce an all-touch design "featuring the largest display on a BlackBerry smartphone to date."
"This is the largest global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in our history," said RIM president and co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis.
"The BlackBerry solution offers a best-in-class mobile communications experience that customers love and we think they will be thrilled by the faster performance, enhanced browsing and richer multimedia delivered by these powerful new BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Torch smartphones."
The new products seek to claw back market share from Apple, whose iPhone has now overtaken the BlackBerry in the US market, according to the research firm comScore, which says the BlackBerry is only the third most popular smartphone, also behind those using the Google Android operating system.
Last month, RIM announced it was cutting 2,000 jobs and that its ailing chief operating officer planned to retire.
The job cuts amount to just over 10 percent of the global workforce of the company.
RIM said the financial impact of the job cuts would be disclosed when the company announces its second quarter results on September 15.
(c) 2011 AFP