Let's be honest. Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) along with the Android platform and even to a smaller degree, Microsoft's (Nasdaq:MSFT) Windows have innovated the smartphone market in some big ways. Unlike new models of automobiles that come out every year with often slight or underwhelming changes, these companies routinely bless techno geeks with head-turning innovation that not only works well, but is beautiful to look at.

It's because the bar is set so high that any new product that comes to market in the smartphone space has to be a complete head turning, "WOW times 2" experience. Jaws have to drop and customers have to be speechless.

Top Investment Trends For 2013: We go over a few investment trends for you to think about for 2013.

Enter Research In Motion (Nasdaq:RIMM). On Jan. 30, it held an event to unveil the new BlackBerry 10 phones. Unlike Apple where we would have to read a real-time feed of the goings-on, this unveiling was shown live on financial media and webcasted.

Apparently, Apple not only innovated the smartphone market but also how to introduce products because every tech company wants to use the same approach now. Typically this involves a theatre-like show complete with big multimedia as the backdrop and the company CEO holding the product and talking about how it's the best.

That's exactly what RIMM did. First, the company revealed that it was renaming itself to BlackBerry and giving itself a new ticker symbol BBRY. This, it might be argued, was the biggest head-turning part of the event (other than cutting some random fan's ponytail off). A name (Research in Motion) that meant absolutely nothing to consumers and investors alike will soon be gone.

At this point CEO Thorsten Heins came to the stage with all of the swagger of a high school chess club equipment manager and went through the obligatory thank yous and "we're the best" marketing hype. He then unveiled the two new BlackBerry phones complete with the new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

SEE: Becoming A CEO

In a company release, RIMM said, "Every feature, every gesture, and every detail in BlackBerry 10 is designed to keep you moving." Heins also called the BlackBerry "an entirely new mobile experience."

Let's check out this "entirely new mobile experience." First, RIMM highlighted Skype, Twitter and Angry Birds when it touted the apps integration of the phone. Anybody ever hear of these apps? Other than everyone that is? The BlackBerry 10 platform launched with 70,000 apps but Apple has surpassed 775,000 apps. While it's fair to say that when the iPhone launched, it had zero, are consumers going to buy (literally) that argument? After all that was 2007. This is now.

Next, the new BlackBerry operating system (OS in techie terms) satisfied the big name tech. reviews. CNET called it "pretty good" and ABC called it "actually, pretty good" and "similar to the iPhone."

The OS is gesture-based, meaning that swiping to the left, right, up and down are how you navigate. (Sound familiar?) The OS organizes the apps just like other phones, and has many of the same core apps that smartphone users already know.

SEE: The Real Cost Of Owning A Smartphone

On the surface, the new OS is a giant leap forward but, at least for now, it did nothing but bring the BlackBerry up to 2012 (or maybe 2011) smartphone standards. How many consumers are going to switch from their current phone to a BlackBerry that doesn't do anything new?

Corporate clients might like the new "Balance" feature which allows users to separate their work smartphone from their personal phone without having two separate units. By having two separate profiles, personal use won't comprise corporate security - in theory.

Maybe the phones, rather than the OS will save the company from extinction. Listening to the webcast felt a little awkward. It went something like this: "Here's the new BlackBerry Phones!" Awkward silence, followed by tepid, short-lived applause.

The BlackBerry Z10 complete with a name that feels about as current as the compact disk, comes with a virtual keyboard that some, including ABC News, say is the best virtual keyboard on the market. That's good news but other features including LTE capability and a dual core processor are nothing new.

The Q10 keeps the physical keyboard that so many BlackBerry die-hards love. Props to the company for holding onto something that people have long loved about the phone.

The Bottom Line
BlackBerry faced a task that was almost impossible. It had to unveil something that was clearly, an "entirely new mobile experience." It didn't do that. It has some features that some say are missing on the iPhone and Android platforms but in the smartphone world, achieving "WOW" is hard to do and BlackBerry fell short.

What the company did do was impress its current user base, but that likely will not make it a major player in the smartphone market again. It needed to attract new customers. That is not likely to happen and investors sold shares in droves after the announcement because of that.

The biggest news of the day ended up being the name change.

At the time of writing, Tim Parker owned shares of Apple since 2012.

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Net Neutrality: Pros and Cons

    The fight over net neutrality has become an amazing spectacle. But at its core, it's yet another skirmish in cable television's war to remain relevant.
  2. Investing

    The Rise of Corporate Venture Capital

    After the success of Google Ventures, corporate venture capital is an increasingly popular diversification and hedging tool for many large corporations.
  3. Personal Finance

    A Day in the Life of an Equity Research Analyst

    What does an equity research analyst do on an everyday basis?
  4. Investing

    What’s Plaguing Twitter and Yelp?

    Yelp and Twitter have recently become grounded in reality and unable to justify their sky-high stock valuations.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged

    Find out about the PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged ETF, and learn detailed information about characteristics, suitability and recommendations of it.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ProShares Large Cap Core Plus

    Learn information about the ProShares Large Cap Core Plus ETF, and explore detailed analysis of its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Core Growth Allocation

    Find out about the iShares Core Growth Allocation Fund, and learn detailed information about its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility

    Learn about the iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility exchange-traded fund, which invests in low-volatility equities traded on the U.S. stock market.
  9. Stock Analysis

    Should You Follow Millionaires into This Sector?

    Millionaire investors—and those who follow them—should take another look at the current economic situation before making any more investment decisions.
  10. Professionals

    What to do During a Market Correction

    The market has corrected...now what? Here's what you should consider rather than panicking.
  1. Equity

    The value of an asset less the value of all liabilities on that ...
  2. Hard-To-Sell Asset

    An asset that is extremely difficult to dispose of either due ...
  3. Sucker Yield

    When an investor has essentially risked all of his capital for ...
  4. PT (Perseroan Terbatas)

    An acronym for Perseroan Terbatas, which is Limited Liability ...
  5. Ltd. (Limited)

    An abbreviation of "limited," Ltd. is a suffix that ...
  6. BHD (Berhad)

    The suffix Bhd. is an abbreviation of a Malay word "berhad," ...
  1. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What happens to the shares of stock purchased in a tender offer?

    The shares of stock purchased in a tender offer become the property of the purchaser. From that point forward, the purchaser, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!