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RIM to Launch Six Phones This Year

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As it prepares for its all-important launch of the BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system later this month, RIM is trickling out more details about the phones that will use the new OS. The company has revealed that during 2013 it plans to launch six new smartphones that will hit a wide range of price points and that will be available on a wide variety of carriers.

Phil Goldstein from Fierce Wireless reported, “While all eyes are on the first two BlackBerry 10 devices Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) will introduce later this month, RIM plans to eventually hit a range of price points at the high, middle and lower end of the market with its BB10 devices, according to a senior executive. RIM plans to release at least six BB10 devices in 2013, beginning with an all-touch device and a phone with a Qwerty keyboard, which it will announce Jan. 30, according to CMO Frank Boulben. The company does not have any exclusive relationships with carriers for BB10 in any markets, he said, and thus will be free to go after different market segments with its new platform and devices. ‘We intend over time as we transition the portfolio to have a full range of devices,’ he said in an interview with FierceWireless here at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show.”

CNET’s Marguerite Reardon explained, “BlackBerry 10 is RIM’s all-new operating system for its smartphones. The company, which has steadily been losing customers to rivals Google Android and Apple iPhone, has staked its future on the success of the new software. RIM plans to maintain its stronghold on messaging and typing ease. But the new software will also bring with it a new interface and better multimedia capabilities.”

SlashGear’s Chris Davies added, “Part of RIM’s strategy is to get as many BlackBerry 10 devices in front of as many potential users as possible, regardless of carrier. While Nokia opted to sign exclusivity agreements with one carrier per country for its flagship Windows Phone handsets – such as AT&T and the Nokia Lumia 900 – RIM is spreading its net widely. In fact, over 150 carriers are testing BlackBerry 10 currently, while Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile USA all confirmed this week that they would be offering phones running the OS.”

Trevor Mogg with Digital Trends commented, “The future of RIM rests on the success of BB10. Once the king of the smartphone market, the Ontario-based mobile company has fallen out of favor with consumers in recent years. Accused of resting on its laurels and failing to innovate, users have flocked to Apple’s iPhone and Android handsets instead, perceived by many to be more user-friendly, feature-rich devices – and, as already mentioned, supported by huge app stores.”

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