BlackBerry release postponed until March

By Rob Gillies and Peter Svensson

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 30 2013 9:04 p.m. MST

Thorsten Heins, CEO of Research in Motion, announces that the company will now be known as BlackBerry, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 in New York. The new BlackBerry smartphone is promising a speedy browser, a superb typing experience and the ability to keep work and personal identities separate on the same phone, the fruit of a crucial, long-overdue makeover for the Canadian company. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Research In Motion Ltd. unveiled new, versatile BlackBerrys after excruciating delays allowed Apple, Samsung and others to build commanding leads in an industry that is redefining society. But the first phone won't come out in the United States until March, and one with a physical keyboard will take at least a month longer.

The stock fell 12 percent after Wednesday's kickoff, despite mostly positive reviews about the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. There's concern the phone isn't coming out sooner, and there's worry BlackBerry 10's advances won't be enough to turn the company around.

In a move underscoring the stakes riding on its make-or-break product lineup, RIM used the occasion to announce that it is changing the company's name to BlackBerry. It's a pioneering brand that lost its cachet not long after Apple's 2007 release of the iPhone, which reset expectations for what a smartphone should do.

Pioneered in 1999, BlackBerry became a game-changing breakthrough in personal connectedness. It changed the culture by allowing on-the-go business people to access wireless email.

As the BlackBerry began to cross over to consumers, rivals came out with a new generation of phones that could do more than just email and messaging, starting with the iPhone and followed by devices running Google's Android system. Suddenly, the BlackBerry looked ancient.

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