Reporting Bud Gillett
FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - The much-delayed, much ballyhooed Blackberry 10 finally is here.
It was debuted in New York Wednesday. A Z-10 model with touch-screen keyboard hits the streets in March, the Q-10 with a raised-button QWERTY keyboard is available in April.
There was no word from the company’s U-S headquarters in the Las Colinas area of Irving, but with balloons and signed poster cards there was ample evidence of the pride they took in developing the new phone.
Local businesses, like Jimmy John’s, depend on them for their own incomes. “Yeah, we do a lot of catering there,” says Las Colinas Jimmy John’s manager Scott Parker. “’They’re really good for business, they order a lot, they communicate a lot, they’re all pretty friendly there.”
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne was enthusiastic. “They employ over 500 people in the city of Irving. They’ve got a huge campus in Las Colinas and this is their largest campus in the U.S.” And Van Duyne says the work attracts other high-tech companies. “Their research and development department is in our city and they had a lot to do with this new piece of equipment hitting the street.”
It is an important day for the company besides the launch of its new phone. It’s formally changing its name from RIM – Research in Motion – to its new name, that of its main product, Blackberry.
Mitch Kramer of Fluent Financial says that’s a wise move. “I think it’s probably going to help because everyone refers to the phone as Blackberry. most people don’t know what Research In Motion is but they know what a Blackberry is. Most people don’t know what Research In Motion is but they know what a Blackberry is.”
But market analyst Kramer cautions Blackberry stock prices have fallen 20% since Friday; investors, he says, worry it’s too little and too late. “I think the technology will be competitive, the problem is maybe they got too late of a start to really be effective and try to recapture that market share.”
A market where Kramer says Google and Apple already control 90%. He points out Blackberry has $3 billion in cash to help it over hard times. But he says if its market price drops into the single digits, it might be easy prey for a hostile takeover from someone like Microsoft, which wants to get more deeply engaged in the personal phone market.
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