RIM's new BlackBerrys to launch this month
Shares in Waterloo, Ont.-based Research In Motion rose Wednesday after it unveiled five new BlackBerrys with touchscreens, responding to heavy competition from the iPhone and Android smartphones.
RIM shares closed up $1.19, or 5.12 per cent, at $24.42 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The company had been expected to launch the new phones earlier this year, but they were delayed.
Those delays helped drag down RIM stock to its lowest level since 2006.
RIM is updating its high-end Bold models to include touchscreens. It's also launching three Torch models with no physical keyboards. The new models are the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930, Torch 9850, 9860 and Torch 9810.
Phones to use new operating system
The phones run a new version of the BlackBerry operating system, which RIM says runs much faster.
RIM launched a keyboard-less touchscreen phone called the Storm in 2008, more than a year after the first iPhone, but the Storm's quirky design and poor software made it a flop.
"The 'all-touchscreen' Torch has been a while coming as a natural successor to the disappointing Storm, particularly when the smartphone market has gone touchscreen mad over the past 18 months," said Malik Saadi, an analyst at Informa.
Bell, Telus and Rogers said Wednesday they will offer three of the new BlackBerry smartphones, including the two Torch models, this month.
AT&T Inc. said it would launch one of the new Torch models this month in the U.S., and another Torch and Bold model later this year.
With files from The Canadian Press