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Technology

BlackBerry CEO unveils ‘slim, sleek' new device


Published:   |   Updated: May 14, 2013 at 11:30 AM

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ORLANDO — BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. Has unveiled a lower-cost BlackBerry designed to entice consumers in emerging markets as the company stepped up efforts to regain market share lost to the iPhone and Android devices.

CEO Thorsten Heins said Tuesday that the Q5 device will be available worldwide this summer. It is RIM's third smartphone to run the new BlackBerry 10 system. The Q5 will have a physical keyboard, something that sets RIM's devices apart from Apple's iPhone and most Android phones.

He said the “slim, sleek” device will be available in red, black, white and pink.

“I know it's going to be a big hit,” Heins said. ““I think you're really gonna like it.”

Heins announced the phone to a packed ballroom to open RIM's annual three-day conference in Orlando.

RIM unveiled new, versatile BlackBerrys this year after delays allowed Apple and others to dominate.

Heins, who became RIM's CEO in January 2012, said the company has made a lot of progress quickly, by adding a diverse collection of people into leadership positions.

He restated BlackBerry's committed to “mobile first” and took a subtle jab at industry predictions that he might not make it to this year's conference as CEO in such a tough landscape.

“I'm happy to say they were wrong,” Heins said. “We are not only still here. We are firing on all cylinders as a company.”

The BlackBerry, pioneered in 1999, had been the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and consumers before the iPhone debuted in 2007 and showed that phones can handle much more than email and calls. RIM faced numerous delays modernizing its operating system.

RIM continues to do well in many places overseas.

Heins said that RIM is “definitely in the race” and that he is excited about its outlook, with mobile being the key cog in their resurgence he said has brought it to a profitable quarter.

“The most successful year for BlackBerry is well under way,” he said.

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