Canadian smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM) has abandoned its name that was in use since inception in 1985 and has decided to take on the name of its signature product, BlackBerry. The company also unveiled a line of smartphones, the BlackBerry 10 series.
"From this point forward, RIM becomes BlackBerry… It's one brand; it's one promise," chief executive Thorsten Heins said, unveiling two phones, both powered by the new BB10 operating system.
Heins called the event a "new day in the history of BlackBerry." The change in name to BlackBerry is to maintain a single brand, and company will take the ticker symbol "BBRY" on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
The legal name change to BlackBerry from RIM will take affect after shareholders approve the decision, but the company has already begun to do business under its new name.
RIM said the first of the new BlackBerrys will be available on Thursday in Britain, with other countries following as carriers complete their testing. RIM had launched its first BlackBerry in 1999.
"We want our employees to say, 'I work for BlackBerry.' Our customers to say, 'I own a BlackBerry.' Our shareholders to say, 'I own BlackBerry stock,'" said chief marketing officer Frank Boulben. "We want to become what I'd call a branded house versus a house of brands."
The new BlackBerry 10 phones will compete with Apple's iPhone and devices using Google's Android technology, both of which have soared above the BlackBerry in a competitive market.