Crowd in BlackBerry's birthplace cheers as new generation finally revealed

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WATERLOO, Ont. - Research in Motion's home town is giving thumbs up to the new Blackberry 10 phones unveiled at the official launch in New York City.

More than 150 local politicians and tech-savvy business people filled a hall in Waterloo, Ont., to watch RIM chief executive Thornsten Heins make a glitzy, Steve Jobs-style presentation of the new flagship product.

The crowd let out a roar as Heins flashed the smartphones, seen as make-or-break devices for the company — a major employer in the Waterloo region.

The event kicked off a day of planned celebrations in the city, which has strung up Blackberry street pole banners marking the launch.

Carl Zehr, the mayor of sister city Kitchener, says the Blackberry 10 is a "game changer" that will boost sales for the embattled RIM.

But Zehr says the area's high tech industry has broadened beyond RIM in recent years, and can survive if the Blackberry 10 falls short of expectations.

Organizations: Blackberry 10

Geographic location: New York City, Waterloo, Kitchener

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