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Can BlackBerry Make a Comeback With Its New Models?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The unveiling of the new BlackBerry (BBRY - Get Report) models and the subsequent corporate rebranding have apparently reinvigorated the company that sparked the smartphone revolution.

Along the way, the company has lost quite a bit of market cap, as its stock fell from over $61 in Jan. 2010 to under $18 a couple of years later, and dropped even further to $6.30 in Sept. 2012, as its smartphone market share dropped to 5%. Therefore, the BB10 launch was much anticipated, particularly after delays and the need to regain the confidence of CIOs, developers, and an end-user base that still boasts a good number of loyalists.

The introduction of the all-touch Z10 and Qwerty Q10 devices represents only the beginning of BlackBerry's business and brand transformation, as per CEO Thorsten Heins' comments. The new models are a targeted effort to deliver an innovative and differentiated end-user experience rather than the former Research in Motion's previous traditional strong tech-specs focus.

Many pundits expected today's results to be an early indicator of how well the new BB10 models and OS will fare, but it is still early and we will not likely know how well the company is doing for at least a couple of quarters. That said the early signs seem to be encouraging: 19 cents a share versus a loss of 24 cents a year ago; 1 million new BB10 phones sold (roughly 100,000 above most consensus estimates) and a solid number of older handsets sold with good service revenue generation during the transition to the new models.

One thing that BlackBerry has got right this time is its ecosystem. The company recently surpassed 100,000 apps, which is proving to be a pretty fast ramp-up. It has spent many resources in this area, hiring folks such as Alec Saunders (VP, Developer Relations) to get closer to the developer community and encourage programmers to write BB10 applications or at least to port them over from the Android OS.
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