As promised Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has launched its new BlackBerry Operating system. In my previous article on Research in Motion I explained why I believed BB10 can be a successful turnaround bet for Research in Motion, but also cautioned investors that the current rally is due to BB10 launch hype and the price would decline post launch. The stock has lost 28% of its value since then.
It’s unfair to say that the launch was lackluster. The company did surprise investors with the change of the company’s name and delay in US launch. I believe that the recent slide is an aberration and the stock will move back to its pre-launch valuation. The company will face tough competition from Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s Lumia devices, which have the new WP8 from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).
The company released a lot of new information for the market during the BB10 launch. The investors already had a pretty good idea about different aspects of the BB10, such as its user maneuverability. The real shock came from the news that the company will be rebranding itself as ‘BlackBerry’ rather than Research in Motion. It has also launched two new devices with the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The device with the touch based user interface has been named Z10 and the one with a physical keyboard is named Q10. The real investor disappointment has come from the launch dates of these devices. Surprisingly the devices would not be available in the United States until March. The Z10 will be available for users in March, but the Q10 will not be available for the general public until at least April.
BB10 has a number of interesting features that can give it an entry point into the very competitive smartphone OS industry. The new OS has introduced a new ‘Hub’ feature, an exciting prospect especially for BB’s professional target market. The Hub displays all the important notifications in a single display window, allowing more efficient browsing of new messages for various applications such as Facebook, SMS etc. BB10’s new touch keypad also has received positive feedback from techies. It comes with a learning system that remembers most used words and displays them on the keys for the user to swipe them on the screen. The new OS also contains an application for the BB camera called Time Shift. This application automatically takes pictures before and after you close the shutter, allowing users to manually change different parts of a picture.