Jan. 30 - BlackBerry unveils its long-delayed new devices, but a later-than-expected U.S. launch could derail the product before it even gets in consumers' hands. Bobbi Rebell reports.
SOUNDBITE: BLACKBERRY CEO THORSTEN HEINS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Today is actually not the finish line. It's the starting line." BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins proudly unveiled the first two phones in its long-delayed BlackBerry 10 line. But if you are looking to buy one in the U.S., you'll have to wait until mid-March. Investors did not like that, and sent the stock down more than 8 percent at one point. CEO Heins defended the setback. SOUNDBITE: BLACKBERRY CEO THORSTEN HEINS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's not a delay. We always said we would be launching in the first quarter of 2013. So I think we are keeping our word. The reason is that the European process, their testing process is, let me say, quite shorter than with U.S. carriers." But the delay could hurt according to Current Analysis' Avi Greengart: SOUNDBITE: AVI GREENGART, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH FOR CONSUMER DEVICES, CURRENT ANALYSIS (ENGLISH) SAYING : "The market they are competing against is not static. So a phone today that has a beautiful high-res display, well, right now there are one or two phones that have even higher resolution displays but in 3 months time who knows." There was some buzz about features. "Balance" allows you to keep business and personal stuff separate. And you can get the perfect picture with a camera feature called "Time Shift". And there were fans of the phones: Jack Gold of J Gold Associates: SOUNDBITE: JACK GOLD, PRINCIPAL ANALYST, J. GOLD ASSOCIATES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "From a technology perspective, I think what's very cool about this- this is a restart. This is a re-launch of BlackBerry." REPORTER BRIDGE: BOBBI REBELL, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "And while there are a lot of positive reviews out there for the new devices there are a lot of skeptics wondering if BlackBerry can make a comeback" SOUNDBITE: AVI GREENGART, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH FOR CONSUMER DEVICES, CURRENT ANALYSIS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "What they need to do is convince consumers to buy this instead of an iPhone or an Android phone and frankly there is nothing wrong with those products." And bad things can happen to good products. IDC's John Jackson: SOUNDBITE: JOHN JACKSON, RESEARCH VICE PRESIDENT, IDC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They are at the mercy for the time being of how these two devices do in a hyper competitive market. The idea is to draw out the unique attributes of the platform, the use case, etc. We've seen another platform, Microsoft's, come out with what I think is a truly innovative and unique user experience that hasn't really moved the needle for that particular platform in the competitive marketplace." The company announced a name switch: from the Research in Motion corporate name, to the BlackBerry brand name- all part of a comeback for the former industry leader- which now has a paltry 3.4 percent share of the global market.