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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Daily Report: BlackBerry 10 Critical to Research in Motion

Research in Motion’s introduction on Wednesday of a new BlackBerry phone will be the most important event in the company’s history since 1996, when its founders showed investors a small block of wood and promised that a wireless e-mail device shaped like that would change business forever, Ian Austen of The New York Times reports.

RIM, now with just 4.6 percent of the global market for smartphones in 2012, according to IDC data, long ago exchanged dominance for survival mode. On Wednesday, the company will introduce a new line of smartphones called the BlackBerry 10 and an operating system of the same name that Thorsten Heins, the president and chief executive of RIM, says will restore the company to glory.

The main elements of the new phones and their operating system are already well-known. Mr. Heins and other executives at RIM have been demonstrating the units for months to a variety of audiences. App developers received prototype versions as far back as last spring.

While analyst and app developers may be divided about the future of RIM, there is a consensus that BlackBerry 10, which arrives more than year behind schedule, was worth the wait.

Initially, RIM will release two variations of the BlackBerry 10, one that will be a touch-screen model that resembles many other phones now on the market. The other model is a hybrid - with a keyboard similar to those now found on current BlackBerrys as well as a small touch screen.

The real revolution, though, may be in the software that manages a person’s business and personal information. It is clearly designed with an eye toward retaining and, more important, luring back corporate users.

In other reports across the Web on RIM’s new phone, Crackberry.com focused on the entertainment possibilities of the new phone. The Register sees the NFC capabiliti! es of the phone as more promising.