Canadian smartphone maker Blackberry announced singer-songwriter Alicia Keys as its new global creative director at its Blackberry 10 launch event in New York this morning.
Introduced at the corporate unveiling by BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins, Keys is stepping into a position specifically created for her to “inspire the future” of the company.
In addition to changing its name from Research in Motion (RIM) to Blackberry, Heins’ press release said Keys will work “closely with app developers, content creators, retailers, carriers and entertainers.”
“We are excited she will be bringing to us her enormous capabilities, as well as a vast network of relationships in the entertainment, social media and business communities, to help shape our brand and grow our business.”
Keys told reporters in the Q & A that followed that she had previously been a Blackberry power user but switched after noticing sexier phones at the gym.
The “Girl on Fire” singer said she has now moved back to only using BlackBerry and was now juggling two phones: a Blackberry for work and a personal one.
Tech-heads will be keenly watching Keys’s online activities as she is (or was) a longtime Apple user.
The 32-year-old has previously tweeted from iOS devices and uploaded images from her photography app Alicia Keys Photo Booth. Keys is also followed by 1.6 million users on the Facebook owned Instagram network — which is not yet available on Blackberry’s platform, CNET reports.
Today, as promised, BlackBerry launched its new operating system, Blackberry 10 (BB10) and two new smartphones — the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10.
“This is one of the biggest launches in our industry and today is not the finish line, it’s the starting line,” said Heins.
According to CBS News, investors appeared unimpressed and shares of (the formerly known) Research in Motion plunged more than 7 percent by midday. By noon, more than 140 million shares had traded hands, compared to a typical average of around 50 million.
Further dire warnings came from Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at research firm IHS iSuppli, who said:
“With smartphones soon to reach their maximum penetration, time is running out for RIM and other Apple/Samsung/Google competitors to stake a claim in the smartphone business.”
Time to get creative Ms Keys.