* RIM has staked its future on BlackBerry 10
* BlackBerry 10 has been delayed twice
* RIM shares up about 3 percent
By Euan Rocha
Nov 12 Research In Motion Ltd
plans to introduce its new line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones on
Jan. 30, the company said on Monday, giving investors a measure
of confidence the long-awaited devices are approaching the
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company, a one-time pioneer in
the smartphone industry, is betting its future on the new line
of products, which will be powered by its new BlackBerry 10
RIM has struggled over the last two years as its devices
lost ground to snazzier and faster smartphones such as Apple
Inc's iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's
In a brief statement, RIM said the twice-delayed devices
will be launched simultaneously in multiple countries. It will
introduce two BlackBerry 10 smartphones, along with the platform
that powers them at the event.
"While it is clearly an uphill battle for RIM given the
recent launch of the iPhone 5 device and the aggressive
marketing dollars being pushed toward Windows 8, we view it as a
modest positive that a date is now officially set for the launch
of the new BB10 devices," Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche
wrote in a note to clients.
RIM has said it plans initially to roll-out touchscreen
devices. Phones with the mini QWERTY keyboards that many
long-time BlackBerry users rave about will come a few weeks
later, while lower-end versions of both devices will be launched
later in the year.
The company did not say when the devices will be available
in stores. That will be announced at the event.
Evercore Partners analyst Mark McKechnie believes the BB 10
devices will be available within two to four weeks of the launch
event, but some such as Peter Misek of Jefferies expect the
devices to go on sale only in March.
RIM's Nasdaq-listed shares were up 3.2 percent at $8.82 in
late afternoon trading on Monday. Its Toronto-listed shares rose
nearly 3 percent to C$8.81.
ALL OR NOTHING
RIM says its new devices will be faster and smoother and
have a large catalog of applications that are now crucial to the
success of any new line of smartphones.
Last week, the new platform and devices won U.S. government
security clearance, potentially allowing both U.S. and Canadian
government agencies to deploy the new smartphones as soon as
they are available.
These were the first BlackBerry products to win Federal
Information Processing Standard 140-2 certifications ahead of
their introduction, the company said.
RIM began carrier tests on the BB10 devices last month. The
Canadian company hopes they will help it win back some of the
market share it lost to the iPhone and devices that run on
Google Inc's Android operating system.
RIM's stock has fallen more than 90 percent from a peak of
over $148 in 2008. But at Friday's close, the shares were up
about 20 percent over the last two months on signs that the
BlackBerry 10 devices are finally likely to make it to market.