Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Spirited RIM platform debut

Besieged firm declares BlackBerry 10 'new era'

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RESEARCH In Motion's "fighting spirit" was touted Tuesday as the struggling smartphone pioneer showcased the BlackBerry 10 platform it will release into a market dominated by Apple and Android phones.

The BB10 operating system -- widely seen as RIM's last chance at reclaiming its former glory -- will act more like a laptop computer on the go, CEO Thorsten Heins told the BlackBerry Jam Americas developer conference. "We are at the start of a new era in mobile computing," said Heins. "And with BlackBerry 10, we are readying this platform for the future."

The operating system will have "processing power close to a laptop" and is on track for release, along with a new BlackBerry smartphone, in early 2013, he said.

The Waterloo, Ont., company has lost market share to Apple's iPhone and other smartphones running Android, especially with tech-savvy consumers in North America.

"We recognize the need for change," Heins said in a keynote speech that was webcast.

"There is a new culture at RIM. There's a new energy and a lot of fighting spirit."

Heins said the company has grown its user base to approximately 80 million, up from 78 million at the end of the second quarter just ended last month. Analysts were expecting RIM to show a flat, or declining, subscriber base for the quarter -- the results of which will be released on Thursday.

Shares in Research In Motion were up 38 cents, or 6.2 per cent, to $6.56 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

RIM (TSX:RIM) has been criticized for the delays in the launch of its new generation of smartphones, delays that have left the company with few new devices to sell.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 26, 2012 B5

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