RIM Shamelessly Copies Apple, Renames The Company After A Fruit

Apple and BlackBerry take it to the street.

Apple and BlackBerry take it to the street.

The headline pretty much says it all: beleaguered smartphone maker Research In Motion has rebranded itself as BlackBerry, naming the company after it’s most popular product.

So now we have two fruit companies making smartphones: Apple and BlackBerry. And just like in the grocery aisle, one is going to sell by the droves, while the other will be largely rejected by shoppers at large until it collects mouldering funguses and is eventually thrown in the big dumpster behind the supermarket… I mean, gadget store.

The announcement came at today’s BlackBerry 10 event, in which CEO Thorsten Heins said: “We have reinvented the company, and we want to represent this in our brand. One brand. One promise. Our customers use a BlackBerry, our employees work for BlackBerry, and our shareholders are owners of BlackBerry.”

Here’s a video of BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben explaining the reasons behind the name change:

In addition to changing their name to BlackBerry ahead of the launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, RIM is changing its stock symbols to BBRY on NASDAQ and BB on TSX.

On one hand, it’s natural that RIM would want to become as a company synonymous with its most iconic product. On the other hand, though, this really just spells it out, doesn’t it: if BlackBerry 10 doesn’t take off, BlackBerry the company is simply dead. It’s all in at this point.

So will BlackBerry 10 take off? Early reviews are in, and they say ‘no’. Joshua Topolsky over at The Verge says he is “deeply disappointed” by the battery in the new BlackBerry Z10, and that it “doesn’t necessarily do anything better than any of its competition.” BGR says BlackBerry has just seemed to end up “making an iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone competitor that isn’t as good as any of them.” And so on.

In other words, RIM changing their name to BlackBerry is like Apple changing the name of its company back in 1993 to the Newton, betting everything — even their corporate identity — on a product that just isn’t going to be a success. Shocker: Wall Street thinks so much of this strategy that the stock price of BlackBerry née RIM has shot down 7% as of writing.

  • Aidan Taylor

    You forget RIM has owned Blackberry and made phones under that name before the iPhone, this article is completely stupid.

  • brownlee

    You forget RIM has owned Blackberry and made phones under that name before the iPhone, this article is completely stupid.

    It’s a joke, champ.

  • technochick
    You forget RIM has owned Blackberry and made phones under that name before the iPhone, this article is completely stupid.

    It’s a joke, champ.

    Not as good as this one

  • hdboy

    Well it makes sense that RIM would rename the company since its research was no longer on motion any more :)

  • hdboy

    OOPs…make that
    “since its research was no longer in motion any more “…

  • Harvey Lubin

    BlackBerry Inc.’s new logo is the outline of a blackberry with a bite out of the right side, and a leaf on top. ;-)

  • Adrayven

    It does make sense.. Most consumers didn’t know the name RIM (Research in Motion).. They would always talk Blackberry, if they talked about anything. I think this is simply an alignment with that. I doubt it will have a large impact on anything other than them taking advantage of the name recognition that BB has developed over the years.

  • Andrew_X_Thomas

    I threw my blackberry bold 9700 against a wall and smashed it over a year ago, bought an iPhone and haven’t looked back.

  • TylerHoj

    Does that woman in the BlackBerry video have a different phone in her other hand? She late for a different commercial?

  • davester13

    Just trying to get away from all those “RIM is dead” articles that come up when you type in “RIM” in google.

  • NethanH

    I think it’s a bit harsh to say BlackBerry shamelessly copied Apple just because both their names are fruits. The perspective of Apple fanatics is getting old.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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