RIM fights back with new BlackBerry

2011-08-03 13:00

Cape Town - Research In Motion (RIM) is intent on rejecting analysts' dire predictions that the company is on a downward spiral and has released a range of new devices with an updated operating system.

Several analysts have said the BlackBerry-maker cannot survive in the smartphone market because of the dominance by Apple with its iPhone and the growth of the Google Android operating system on several smartphone manufacturers.

"The launch of this family of handsets will be RIM's largest global launch ever and more than 225 carriers and distribution partners have already commenced or completed over 500 certification programs for these 5 new handsets," the company said.

The launch includes BlackBerry Bold and Torch models with a new BlackBerry 7 operating system.

BlackBerry phones dominate the South African smartphone market with around 70% penetration according statistics from mobile operators, but devices powered by Android are growing exponentially and some estimates suggest that there will be 80% penetration of smartphones by 2014.

Mobile operators

"This is the largest global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in our history," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO of Research In Motion.

RIM has traditionally tied in its devices with mobile operators so that users have access to packages where they have unlimited data.

Developing markets like Africa have provided growth in subscriber numbers as BlackBerry represents an attractive proposition to access the internet.

"In South Africa and Europe, it's been predominantly around the proposition around the holistic view of it's not only a device, it's a platform that enables you to do various other things, rather than a 1Gig processor with a super display," Rui Brites team leader for Product Management in Africa for RIM told News24.

"We see ourselves as an integral partner: We really believe we're a partner, not just another device vendor and it goes back to the solution. For R2 a day, you have access to your browsing," he added.

The new devices also have the traditional touch display and keyboard layout as the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and are the thinnest (10.5mm) produced by the company, RIM said.

"Qwerty is iconic and that is our heritage. We will always have a Qwerty device.

"Be it in a slide, or in a new device that we've announced - called the Bold 9900 - that philosophy holds true. I still have a Qwerty keypad with touch display, but with a bar type instead of a slide," Brites said.

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  • Thabs - 2011-08-03 13:06

    i loooove my torch, that's all imma say!

      Suckerz - 2011-08-03 14:19

      Its misleading when analysts predict that Blackberry is on the wane in S.A. If you take into account how much it costs for data bundles, R60.00 a month is friggen worth it. Say what you want about Apple and Google's Android, but if they don't look after the end users, whats the point of having it, if its too expensive to use. With data transfer getting faster, one uses up the data bundles quicker.

  • Optimus-Prime - 2011-08-03 13:32

    my torch rocks!

  • preshengovender69 - 2011-08-03 13:35

    once you go black you never go back

      Nick van den berg - 2011-08-03 13:54

      Preshen, you still working for the AG?

      Alida - 2011-08-03 14:06

      It's actually: Once you go BLACKberry, you never go back...

      Bigglesworth - 2011-08-03 14:51

      Tell that to my Torch that's languishing in a desk drawer, recently replaced by a Galaxy S II.

  • Siphiwe Mahlangu - 2011-08-03 14:09

    Blackberry for life

  • Sbonelo - 2011-08-03 14:34

    S.A catches up late on the tech savvy trends thats why people here are still fascinated by the outdated dull calculator brick phone aka blackberry

  • sachin malthoo - 2011-08-03 14:57

    The only reason BB is in demand in this country is due to the free browsing, let another platform offer that and it shall be bye bye BB

  • db7777 - 2011-08-03 15:02

    I love Blackberry, but please stop messing around with the dates for this launch. I have converted about 50 people to go for BB's. I want the new Bold 9900 with a launch date of August 2011. I am now told after months that it will only be here in November cause they want to launch the Playbook first. These are two very different devices get them into the market before you start losing major market share.

      Pickle - 2011-08-04 06:50

      Give us a launch bundle! Playbook and new Bold togheter for one price! weeeeeeeee

      spiral - 2011-09-14 15:21

      the 9900 is out already... mate of mine got one a few days back

  • Grant - 2011-08-04 08:33

    Blackberry'are for little children

      Pickle - 2011-08-04 10:52

      LOL Sounds to me like you are still in school yourself...

      spiral - 2011-09-14 15:22

      Grant... are you also a children?

  • Badballie - 2011-08-04 10:53

    well lets wait and see, Although my family (girls) love them I have always felt that the blackberry range is slow and does not have the same features as a normal phone, net alone a smart phone, the only selling power is has is the relatively cheap BB network although this is also limited in usage

  • jjacgilbert - 2011-08-23 20:57

    BB = Bloody Best.

  • The_Librarian2 - 2011-09-14 14:53


  • spiral - 2011-09-14 15:20

    Bold 9780 - brilliant little phone! :) kicks samsung & nokias ass by miles!

      Rina - 2011-10-10 18:38

      Have you tried a nokia n8 - the best I must say!!!

  • missmay - 2011-09-14 15:22

    Dear Blackberry.....I will support you forever, but please please dont make your employees work so hard, until 2 in the morning!!! I really miss my boyfriend!

  • lenand40 - 2011-10-10 22:03

    Just came back from Europe and have to say I hardly saw any blackberry users. I saw the iphone a lot more often than 50/50 but that maybe to do with the fact they have reliable and cheap data services, while Blackberry is cheapest option for many South Africans. Blackberry as a phone is slow, clunky, cumbersome and really not worth squat except as a business email phone.

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