Research in Motion is staking its future on the long-delayed-but-finally-upcoming BlackBerry 10, and it's plunking down millions for a 30-second Super Bowl ad hawking the operating system.
It's RIM's first-ever Super Bowl commercial, and while the company didn't say how much it spent, Super Bowl broadcaster CBS previously told CNNMoney that 30-second spots are going for a record high of at least $4 million.
RIM will unveil the BlackBerry 10 platform at events on Wednesday, as well as the first two devices to run on the new platform. It's been a long time coming: The software had previously been slated for release in early 2012, which was pushed to late 2012, and again to the first quarter of 2013.
While delays in tech do happen, the news was damning for the struggling RIM because BlackBerry 10 is meant t to be the crown jewel of the company's turnaround plan. Critics wondered if RIM would even survive long enough to launch the OS.
Now that launch day is nearly upon us, RIM is doing all it can to market BlackBerry 10. In addition to the Super Bowl ad, RIM said it will push BlackBerry via online ads and on social networks before and after the game. Launch day on Wednesday includes BlackBerry events around the globe.
So RIM will survive to see BlackBerry 10 launch, but the delay has left the company stuck in a holding pattern. Everyone from Apple to Nokia to Microsoft released new gadgets in the fall, but RIM was essentially forced to wait for the BlackBerry 10 software before selling any significant new hardware.
The company has said BlackBerry 10 will run on a smaller number of devices with essential smartphone features: a much-improved camera, a modern Web browser and social-networking integration. The software will allow customers to access e-mail with one swipe from any app, and it will shift automatically between personal and corporate modes.
RIM's main problem is its lost stronghold in the corporate market, where it once dominated. Rather than issuing company BlackBerries, many employers now have workers bring their own devices into work, usually Apple's iPhone and Google's Android devices.