Market Overview

Analyst: BlackBerry 10 Will "Struggle to Appeal to a Wider Audience"

Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), the company that will soon be known as Blackberry (NASDAQ: BBRY), spent several months creating a media firestorm for its long-awaited BlackBerry 10 platform. That firestorm came to an end this morning.

"Today sees a re-invented BlackBerry launching an entirely new mobile experience," Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry, said in a company release. "We are thrilled to be introducing BlackBerry 10 on the new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones, to deliver a faster, smarter experience that continuously adapts to your needs. Every feature, every gesture, and every detail in BlackBerry 10 is designed to keep you moving."

Some speculated that the event would provide Heins with his very own Steve Jobs moment. Thus far that has not been the case. Now that the product has finally been revealed, investors are abandoning the stock faster than they bought into it last fall.

Adam Leach, principal analyst at Ovum, gave reporters his first reaction to BlackBerry 10 this afternoon.

"The Blackberry 10 platform offers a differentiated user experience in today's crowded and homogenous smartphone market," he said in an e-mail. "The Blackberry Z10 and Q10 will stand out from the Android masses and look distinct from Apple's iPhone. The user experience of Blackberry 10 introduces some nice new features but importantly builds on Blackberry's UI heritage and therefore will certainly appeal to existing Blackberry users. However, the challenge for the company will be to attract new users and those that have already moved to alternative smart phones."

"Blackberry has rightly focused on insuring that the Blackberry 10 devices have a large catalogue of content and applications, which is now essential for any modern smartphone, and achieving 70,000 applications at the launch of a new platform is good start."

"However, Ovum believes that despite a well-designed Blackberry 10 platform, that will certainly attract short-term interest from existing users the company will struggle to appeal to a wider audience and in the long-term will become a niche player in the smartphone market."

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