Smartphone maker Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) launched to new phones this morning, the Z10 touchscreen model and the Q10 with the familiar BlackBerry keypad. Oh, and RIM changed its name to BlackBerry. That should make things a lot better.
The company is also changing its ticker symbol to BBRY and the stock will continue to trade on the Nasdaq. Trading under the new symbol is set to begin February 4.
While the new phones and the new BlackBerry 10 operating system have received favorable notices in advance of today’s launch, technical capability will only take the newly monikered company so far. Competing against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) with their vast ecosystem of smartphone apps almost dooms BlackBerry to no better than third place in a sector it once dominated.
Even to reach third place it needs to battle the Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) combination that released a new phone and operating system last fall. The BlackBerry 10 handset and operating system have arrived a year late. And the company has not yet provided a ship date for the new phones, although one report has the devices available March 1.
Shares are down about 6% at $14.71 following the announcement, in a 52-week range of $6.22 to $18.32.