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RIM unveils new BlackBerry Amid the security issues dogging Research In Motion Ltd. in several countries, the Waterloo, Ont.-based technology giant today unveiled a new BlackBerry with a slider keyboard and touch screen. The BlackBerry Torch also has a new operating system, the BlackBerry 6, and Web browser, a move aimed at boosting market share as RIM battles the likes of the iPhone from Apple Inc. and other new smart phones on the market.
Here's what some analysts said:
- "They finally caught up. They needed something sexy for the consumer. It didn't blow the doors off. But they're solidly on a level playing field." Maribel Lopez, Lopez Research, to Dow Jones Newswires
- "It really closes the gap with Android and iPhone -- probably more Android, because Apple really offers something unique. But RIM really overhauled the user interface. I think they've regained their No. 2 position in terms of technology." Shaw Wu, Kaufman Brothers, to Reuters
- "This gets them back in the game. It should slow the tide of people jumping ship." Ross Rubin, NPD Group, to Dow Jones Newswires
- "The new OS catches up to the competition in many respects with an improved browser, touch interface, 5 [megapixel]camera, etc. However, the display resolution of 480x360 is not as high as those found on other competitive flagship smart phones (iPhone 960x640; Droid X 854x480) and, in our opinion, RIM still needs to improve its ecosystem." Phillip Huang, Maynard Um, UBS
- "The fact that this device is going to be geared toward both enterprise and consumer, that will be a positive as people will feel that if they design for this device, they can hit two birds with one stone." Nick Agostino, Mackie Research Capital, to Reuters
- "The Torch and OS6 put Research In Motion on firm competitive ground against Apple's iPhone and the Android devices, with a touch screen on par plus the BlackBerry keyboard. The key question is whether RIM can convince developers to prioritize this new platform above the competition." Charles Golvin, Forrester Research
- "Developers want to go where the consumers are and consumers want to go where the developers are. RIM is going to have to tell a very compelling story to attract the first batch of developers." Michael Gartenberg, Altimeter Group, to Reuters
Today's announcement, made with AT&T Inc. in the United States, comes after a weekend flurry of controversy surrounding security concerns in several countries, notably the threat by the United Arab Emirates to shut down BlackBerry service in October if RIM doesn't take the measures needed to allow authorities to monitor communications.
In Dubai today, the UAE defended its decision, following the U.S. State Department's comments yesterday that it is disappointed by the move. "It is regrettable that after several years of discussions, BlackBerry is still not compliant with UAE regulatory requirements even as it complies with similar policies in other countries," Yousef al-Otaiba, the ambassador to Washington, was quoted as saying in local newspapers, according to Agence France Presse.
He said his country wants "exactly the same regulatory compliance" that RIM gives other governments.
RIM, not mentioning the UAE dispute directly, said in a statement yesterday that it is "committed to continue delivering highly secure and innovative products that satisfy the needs of both customers and governments."
- RIM unveils BlackBerry Torch
- RIM aims to take bite out of Apple
- The latest buzz: A RIM tablet
- RIM-UAE fight spills to other nations
- Kuwait won't suspend BlackBerry service, report says
TD cites fiscal headwinds Canada stacks up well in a fiscal comparison to its peers, and cutting the combined federal-provincial deficit in half over the next two years appears well within reach, Toronto-Dominion Bank economists say. But "the harder part will be getting to zero deficits from there," deputy chief economist Derek Burleton and senior economist Pascal Gauthier said in a report today.