Blackberry will launch two new high spec handsets as it begins a fight back in the smartphone market.
Blackberry will launch a new high spec handset as it begins a fight back in the smartphone market.
The growth in Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S3 has seen the fortune’s of Research In Motion’s (RIM) smartphone decline in recent years.
But the Canadian firm has announced plans to launch two BlackBerry 10 (BB10) handsets, the Z10 and X10 on Wednesday.
Pictures leaked online purporting to be the Z10 show a touchscreen phone along similar lines to the iPhone while the X10 is believed to be a classic BlackBerry, with a Qwerty keyboard.
Malik Kamal-Saadi, principal analyst with Informa, tried the devices at RIM's European headquarters in Slough and said the new operating system could see it win back customers lost through the poor performance of the previous BlackBerry 7 phones.
He said: "The 'experience' is very attractive for business users and consumers.
"BB10 has what is needed to seduce back in both developed markets (Europe and North America). I haven't seen anything like it in terms of the experience."
Mr Kamal-Saadi said the system would appeal to both business and social high-end users in Europe and North America, where BlackBerry has lost the most ground.
But he added that the software was akin to the first generation of iPhones in being so radically different it may take people a little while to get used to it.
Investors will "leap into the sky" if BB10 sells more than four million units in the first three months on sale, he said, but sales of between one and two million would be okay. Anything less than one million would be a "big mess" for the Canadian firm.
Ernest Doku, technology expert with uSwitch.com, said: "For RIM and BlackBerry, it is very much the resurrection of the BlackBerry brand.
"Consumers have been waiting a long time to see what they were coming up with. They have fallen to the wayside but a lot of signs are pointing to this being their return to relevance in the smartphone market."
He said that people would also be waiting for a likely version with a Qwerty keyboard.
"There is a massive USP (unique selling proposition) in the return of the physical keyboard," he added.
"Nine out of 10 consumers we asked related that with the BlackBerry.”
Russell Feldman, associate director for technology and telecoms consulting at YouGov, said: "We know that right now RIM is in a poor situation, and so there is definitely a lot of pressure for the BB 10 to deliver.
"According to SMIX UK, our consumer smartphone tracker, two-thirds of RIM's current customers do not expect to get a BlackBerry again, with most opting to switch to an iPhone.
"BB10 has the opportunity to at least stop the rot... providing it is able to market itself effectively and curry favour with retailers and operators
"It also needs to be a decent system to at least get critics on its side, and it then could have the potential to take share away from others. However, RIM may have left it too late."