Research in Motion (RIM) has announced a name change as it officially launched its BlackBerry 10 platform and detailed the first devices running the much anticipated new operating system.
At simultaneous events in New York, London and other cities, RIM announced it is changing its name to BlackBerry to simplify branding.
As expected, the firm unveiled two BlackBerry 10 devices, comprising the touchscreen Z10 and the Q10, a device with both Qwerty and touch input that has a strong resemblance to earlier BlackBerry smartphones.
The Z10 will be the first device to ship in the UK, available from 31 January through outlets including Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4U, Vodafone, O2, Three and BT according to BlackBerry.
It will also be available on the EE network, where it supports 4G communications capability. Other networks will add this capability as their 4G support is rolled out, BlackBerry said.
Chief executive Thorsten Heins, who has been at the company's reins for almost a year, said that today's launch is not the finish line, but the starting line for BlackBerry 10.
"BlackBerry 10 is for people who are hyper-connected socially, people who like getting things done, people who need balance in both their personal and professional lives," Heins said.
The platform will "lead the way form mobile communications to true mobile computing, where you can be constantly connected to all your information all of the time," he added.
BlackBerry demonstrated features of its new platform, including BlackBerry Balance that partitions the device into separate work and personal environments when used in conjunction with the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10, which the firm unveiled separately last week.
Also demoed was BBM Screenshare, which allows a user to show what is on their handset to a contact, and features designed to appeal to consumers such as a video editing tool called BlackBerry Story Maker.
However, the success of BlackBerry 10 will depend on applications, and the firm claimed that it already has over 70,000 available on its BlackBerry World store.
The firm was keen to push key applications ready or coming, such as clients for SAP, Skype, Cisco's Webex, plus the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social networks, and promised more will be coming down the pipeline.
"BlackBerry is now one company and one brand," said Rob Orr, BlackBerry's UK and Eire managing director.
"It's BlackBerry, but it's been reinvented and redesigned for the future."
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