Tech followers can let out that expectant breath they’ve long been holding in: the new BlackBerry 10 was launched Wednesday morning and, for anyone who’s been hiding under a rock with no internet access, a major element of the announcement was tethered to the company’s rebrand.
Research In Motion is no longer. The company is now going by the name BlackBerry.
With analysts and the communications industry alike keeping a very close eye on reception to the new operating system and smartphones, there was also lots of online commentary about RIM’s rebranding.
Here’s the chatter on the rebrand:
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Vito Pilieci @ Ottawa Citizen
“Even after months of scrutiny in the lead-up to its latest phones and a new operating system, Research in Motion Inc. still found a way Wednesday to surprise the world. The Waterloo, Ont., company said it is changing its corporate name to BlackBerry – aligning itself with its signature product and ditching a moniker that has become associated with hubris, delay and plummeting share prices. The rebranding comes as the former RIM launches a reinvented smartphone it believes can regain ground lost to Apple’s iPhone and the phones from Samsung and others that run on Google’s Android operating system.”
Chris Welch @ The Verge
“‘We have reinvented the company, and we want to represent this in our brand,’ [chief executive Thorsten] Heins said. “One brand. One promise. Our customers use a BlackBerry, our employees work for BlackBerry, and our shareholders are owners of BlackBerry.” In addition to the new branding, RIM is changing its stock symbols to reflect the change: it will be listed under BBRY on NASDAQ, and BB on TSX.”
Gareth Beavis @ TechRadar
“The move makes a lot of sense given the company no longer has the same interests it had in other areas, showing that it’s focusing totally on the new BB10 platform. BlackBerry (you don’t know how hard it is for us to not correct ourselves to write that) will be pushing onto more devices in the near future, such as cars, healthcare and home devices, so having one moniker makes sense.”
Don Reisinger @ CNET
“The move is not so surprising. BlackBerry’s customers were largely unaware of what “RIM” meant and what it stood for, and would commonly call the company “BlackBerry.” BlackBerry’s web site is still displaying the “Research In Motion” branding. However, the company is expected to remove all mention of its former name sometime today.”
Chris Davies @ SlashGear
“Of course, there’s more to changing the company’s future than changing its name. BlackBerry is relying on BlackBerry 10 for the next decade, its QNX-based platform for new smartphones, tablets, and other uses such as in-car infotainment.”
Euan Rocha @ Reuters
“BlackBerry is how we’re known pretty much everywhere across the world other than North America, so we have an iconic global brand and when you have such a powerful brand, you want to make it central,” said Frank Boulben, BlackBerry’s chief marketing officer, in an interview. The switch underscores the close attention the company is paying to marketing as it launches a product considered crucial to its survival. In the past, it was roundly criticized for botching the launch of the PlayBook tablet and other devices. RIM’s aging line-up of devices has competed poorly in recent years against the likes of Apple Inc’s iPhone and Samsung’s wide array of Galaxy devices. As the company counters with its new line, the name change will allow it to leverage the value of the BlackBerry brand – still a powerful asset in spite of RIM’s fall from grace. ‘Previously we had Research In Motion, BlackBerry, Bold, Curve, Torch, PlayBook – and that dilutes the BlackBerry brand, which is a fantastic asset,’ Boulben said. ‘Moving to a branded house model allows us to focus our marketing on one name only.’That could be crucial for the company, which has undergone a management overhaul changes and a major restructuring, leading up to the launch of its re-engineered line of devices on Wednesday.”
We’re reaching out to our readers in the marketing industry for commentary on BB10 now that the launch has happened. Want to share your observations with our readers? Email us with your thoughts, or tweet with #bblaunch.