RIM is gearing up for the launch of the BlackBerry 10, scheduled for January 30, and it looks as if users can expect six devices over the course of the year, running on at least three major networks.
CMO Frank Boulben told Fierce Wireless that the initial launch will consist of two devices: an all-touch device and a phone with a Qwerty keyboard. Further launches during the course of next year will allow the company to offer products spanning the full range of price points, from top to bottom, he says.
According to Boulben, there are currently 79 million BlackBerry users, and the company has a strong relationship with carriers.”They very much believe that we can be the third platform,” he said.
A report from Reuters bears this out, with senior executives from Verizon and AT&T both saying that they were committed to carrying BlackBerry 10 devices.
And, said T-Mobile USA chief executive John Legere, “We’re extremely optimistic that it’s going to be a successful product and our business customers are extremely interested in it.”
The company is desperate to regain the prominent position it held a few years ago, and has been working to improve on its hardware, gain the support of developers, and make the most of its strengths in security and instant messaging. Its global market share has halved over the last year, according to Gartner, and is now just 5.3 percent.
This month’s launch was originally to have taken place last fall, but was delayed by problems with the new operating system. Now, though, it’s ready to launch, with a new user interface and more than 70,000 applications.