Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) on Wednesday unveiled five new BlackBerry phones with touch screens, as it hopes to revive the line’s dwindling appeal in the face of competition from the iPhone and Android smart-phones. The new phones had been expected earlier this year, but were delayed. Though the company is profitable and seeing growing sales worldwide, it is increasingly seen as a has-been that missed the chance to parlay the BlackBerry’s popularity as a corporate email device into mass-market dominance. The new BlackBerry touch-screen devices to be launched is aimed to change the situation.
RIM, which is based in Waterloo, Ontario, is updating its high-end Bold models to include touch screens. It’s also launching two Torch models with big screens but no physical keyboards, mimicking the basic design of the iPhone. RIM launched a keyboard-less touch-screen phone called the Storm in 2008, more than a year after the first iPhone, but the Storm’s quirky design and poor software made it a flop in the market.