Research In Motion’s stock went for a roller coaster ride today.
After losing 2.8 percent this morning, the company’s stock regained ground and is trading up nearly 3 percent to $72.70 a share after its co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said it is developing a touchscreen-friendly operating system — BlackBerry 6 — that will be available by September.
The announcement puts to rest concerns that investors and analysts were having earlier in the day when the biggest news coming from RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) was that it was releasing an updated version of the BlackBerry Bold and Pearl — two popular, but older franchises. The smartphone-maker has been under fire to produce an updated operating system and browser that is more consumer friendly and comparable with the iPhone and Android phones.
Just hours earlier, investors and analysts were concerned the company wouldn’t deliver any updates, despite promises in its last earnings call that it was really excited about its upcoming phone line-up. To the contrary, new versions of the Pearl and Bold seemed to completely contradict that.
But this afternoon, Lazaridis calmed fears giving analysts a sneak peek at a revamped operating system during his keynote before RIM’s annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium event in Orlando this week. Based on early reports, analysts liked what they saw. Mackie Research Capital analyst Nick Agostino said in an email to Reuters that the audience was quiet during the demonstration and then broke into applause. He characterized the presentation as “Shock and awe.” According to MarketWatch, Matt Thornton of Avian Securities wrote in an e-mail, “It is much more modern, web 2.0 oriented….on par with Android, iPhone, WebOS.”
The OS will be rolled out to all the devices over time, including a lot of existing BlackBerry smartphone users, and will be initially available sometime between July and September. The OS will also include a more user-friendly browser that is capable of rendering full web sites better than the BlackBerry browser available today.