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Watch the video and read the news for March 20, 2013 to study American English pronunciation.
Read other English pronunciation news reports.

Blackberry's New Phones


During 2013, Blackberry will launch two new smartphones, one with the famous, patented QWERTY keyboard and another with an all touchscreen display. This launch could be pivotal for the company that rose to fame by pioneering the smartphone generation, but fell dramatically behind when the iPhone and the Android gained popularity. Well known for designing phones that increase work productivity with flexible email interface and precise typing platforms, Blackberry dropped behind competitors by creating operating systems that had limited APP support. The new operating system will have simple methods for porting over APPs from other devices, and at the same time, there will be incentives for users to choose Built by Blackberry APPs. The Blackberry 10 phone will directly compete with Microsoft's Windows 8 device.

There are mixed reviews in terms of Blackberry's choice in the launch. By choosing to launch after the holidays, Blackberry missed the busiest shopping season of the year. However, by launching after other competing devices were released, Blackberry can answer mistakes made by other companies and put forward a device that will impress their fans and attract new users. Though the Blackberry phone lost steam in the United States, the phones remained popular abroad. The company used to be called Research in Motion, but the name has officially changed to Blackberry.

Answer the Questions

1. What is the "au" sound in "launch?"

2. What is the "ou" sound in "touchscreen?"

3. In the word "pivotal," which vowel sounds are reduced to the U in "up?"

4. In the word "dramatically," which vowel sounds are reduced?

5. Do the words "operating," "popular" and "holidays" have the same O sound?

6. Is the O sound reduced in "compete?"

Answers are at the bottom of the page.

Get more practice:

All Vowels

500 Words: Short Vowels

500 Words: Long Vowels

  O Sounds

1. the Open A sound as in "father," 2. U as in "up," 3. O, A, 4. the first and last A, 5. yes, 6. yes

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