Have you driven a BlackBerry lately? Increasingly, the answer is probably “no.” Facing ferocious competition from the Apple iPhone and Google’s Android, Research in Motion — which makes the BlackBerry smartphones and tablet — announced in July that it would cut its workforce by about 2,000, or about 10 percent. But one week later, Canadian-based RIM announced plans to roll out five new smartphones. The phones won’t use the company’s recently acquired QNX operating system, but instead, will run on an update to RIM’s existing BlackBerry software, according to the Wall Street Journal. RIM says the phones will offer faster Web browsing and search capability, including voice-enabled search functions and enhanced, high-definition video recording capacity. At the end of the first quarter of this year, smartphones that run on Android made up 50.9 percent of the North American market, followed by the iPhone operating system at 27.1 percent and RIM, at 16.5 percent. RIM’s market share fell from 41.3 percent in the first quarter of 2010, according to Gartner Inc., a technology advisory.
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