Canada’s Research in Motion today announced plans for five new BlackBerry smartphones, the largest global product launch in the company’s history.
RIM, which has seen its stock price slump as it faces tough competition from Apple’s iPhone and others, said it would introduce two new “BlackBerry Bold” models and three of its “BlackBerry Torch,” all of which use the new BlackBerry 7 operating system.
“The launch of this family of handsets will be RIM’s largest global launch ever and more than 225 carriers and distribution partners have already commenced or completed over 500 certification programs for these five new handsets,” the Waterloo, Ontario-based company said in a statement.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 are RIM’s “thinnest smartphones ever,” the company said, each with a large keyboard and touch display.
The new BlackBerry Torch 9810 combines a large touch display with a slide-out keyboard while the Torch 9850 and 9860 introduce an all-touch design “featuring the largest display on a BlackBerry smartphone to date”.
The new products seek to claw back market share from Apple, whose iPhone has now overtaken the BlackBerry in the US market, according to the research firm comScore, which says the BlackBerry is only the third most popular smartphone, also behind those using the Google Android operating system.
Last month, RIM announced it was cutting 2,000 jobs and that its ailing chief operating officer planned to retire.