Research in Motion (RIM) has launched its new BlackBerry 10 smartphone, the long-awaited device that it is hoped will rescue the company from declining global sales. 
At a simultaneous launch in New York, London, Paris, Dubai, Toronto and Johannesburg, RIM (now rebranded as BlackBerry) unveiled the re-designed and re-engineered BlackBerry 10.
Alexandra Zagury, MD of RIM SA, says that the company has faced challenges in different parts of the world, but in Africa and South Africa, BlackBerry is doing well.
“Worldwide, we have 80-million customers – and millions of these are in Africa,” she says. “For two years in a row, BlackBerry has been the leading smartphone in South Africa, and for more than one year it has been the leader in Nigeria.”
Zagury adds that the existing BlackBerry 7 eco-system will continue to co-exist with the new BlackBerry 10.
However, the fact that Johannesburg is one of the six venues chosen to co-launch the new BlackBerry 10 indicates the importance RIM places on the African market.
“We are fortunate that we are able to build on a strong foundation of communications and world-class security,” she says.
“RIM is moving forward in the mobile revolution – and Africa will be part of it.”
In South Africa all of RIM’s carrier partners – Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, 8.ta – have agreed to carry the new BB10 devices.
There was no indication about when the BlackBerry 10 will be available in South Africa.
The new BlackBerry 10 is available in two iterations: the Z10 with a full touch screen; and the Q10 which includes a physical keyboard.
Heins explains that the new BlackBerry 10 device was designed with a specific customer in mind.
This customer, he says, is hyper-connected, has a social appetite and wants to get things done.
“They are multi-taskers,” he says. “These are the people who want to get the most out of their smartphones. They want a balance between their personal and professional lives, with the simplicity of everything in one place – they want to be able to flow seamlessly from app to app and from feature to feature.
“These users consider true multi-tasking to be a must-have.”
The BlackBerry 10 users move quickly, says Heins, and want devices that offer the speed required to get things done.
“BlackBerry 10 will keep them moving.”
Heins adds that BlackBerry 10 is an attempt to start leading a mobile computing movement, rather than simply a mobile communications experience.
“We will soon give you new ways to connect your mobile experience to the world around you,” he says. “You will be in the middle of a personal Internet of things.”