January 31, 2013
STEP forward, CrackBerry Kevin. Many months ago Kevin Michaluk vowed not to cut his hair until BlackBerry 10, the smartphone?s long-delayed new operating system, was launched. In New York on January 30th Mr Michaluk, who runs CrackBerry.com, a website devoted to the device, submitted himself to the scissors. He had had time to grow a handsome ponytail. Research In Motion (RIM), the Canadian company that makes the BlackBerry, also adopted a new style, renaming itself: BlackBerry. Why bother? Perhaps because only pedants ever called it RIM.To complete its makeover RIM?sorry, BlackBerry?unveiled a new ?global creative director?, Alicia Keys, a singer and songwriter whose talents it hopes will tune up the brand. More substantively, it also showed off two phones, the Z10, with a full touchscreen, and the Q10, with a physical keyboard. The Z10 went on sale in Britain on January 31st. Many of BlackBerry?s bosses, including Thorsten Heins, the chief executive, and the chief marketing and operating officers, are new too, having been in their jobs for a year or less. They are bursting with conviction that BlackBerry 10 will revive the company?s fortunes.Once the BlackBerry was the smartphone of choice for everyone from Barack Obama to corporate road-warriors. Granted, in some places, such as Indonesia and Venezuela, and for some British teenagers, it still is. Chief information...
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