New BlackBerry 10 a ‘Mind-Changing’ Experience: RIM CEO
The CEO of embattled BlackBerry maker Research In Motion offered fulsome praise for the company’s highly awaited new device, saying the latest version would offer a “mind changing” experience for users.
Once the most dominant name in smartphone technology, RIM is locked in a battle for its very survival as technology problems, a sliding stock price and declining market share have all taken their toll.
Meanwhile, the company is engaged in a proverbial steel cage match against more nimble competitors such as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy, which have leapfrogged over the BlackBerry as the device of choice among discerning consumers.
Underscoring how the company’s fortunes hinge on the impending arrival of its BlackBerry 10, Thorsten Heins told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the newest iteration of its smartphone would deliver “a whole, unique user experience.”
The company is banking on the phone as a game-changer that can convince deeply skeptical analysts and investors that RIM can get back on track without being sold or restructured. (Read more: Can BlackBerry Maker RIM Turn a Corner?)
“There are many more steps to come before we launch BlackBerry 10,” Heins said. “Then I think the market will be very excited by what BlackBerry 10 has to show, and what it will deliver to its customers.”
Heins offered some hints about some of the new BlackBerry's functions, which he hoped would win back wayward customers. Still, he was cagey about the device's due date, saying it would likely sometime in the first quarter of next year.
Saying the new BlackBerry would have a “fantastic keyboard experience,” Heins explained that the device would offer buyers both a keyboard and touch screen versions, in a nod to what he described as RIM’s still important segment of users that remain wedded to the qwerty keyboard that other smartphone competitors avoid.
Still, “we also need and want to gain market share in the full touch segment,” Heins said. “I’m truly convinced this will be a mind-changing user experience.”
On Thursday, RIM reported a smaller quarterly loss than Wall Street had expected, and boosted its cash balances. (Read more: Research In Motion Results Top Forecasts, Shares Soar.)