BlackBerry unveils long-awaited facelift with revamped handsets

THE NEXT generation of BlackBerry phones was finally revealed yesterday, kicking off a make-or-break period for Research in Motion.

The Canadian firm revealed a radical overhaul of its ageing mobile software and two new smartphones, which it hopes will be able to compete with the dominant Samsung and Apple.

The new operating system, BlackBerry 10, has long been in the works, and has been repeatedly delayed, leading many to question whether the firm has a future at all.

Unexpectedly, yesterday did in fact spell the end for Research in Motion, with the company announcing it would now simply be called “BlackBerry”.

“Today sees a re-invented BlackBerry launching an entirely new mobile experience,” said chief executive Thorsten Heins, who took the reins 12 months ago. Former bosses Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis were forced out following years of declining market share.

Shares fell more than 12 per cent on fears the relaunch would not be enough. The first BlackBerry 10 phone goes on sale in the UK today.