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Summary:

Although other barriers to success exist, Research In Motion has one less obstacle for its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones: All four major U.S. carriers plan to sell the devices. The world is bigger than the U.S. but here the carriers are still the kingmakers.

Blackberry 10, RIM
photo: RIM

Research In Motion isn’t out of the woods yet, but at least one obstacle to the success of its new BlackBerry 10 phones is out of the way. This week, all four major U.S. carriers said they would sell RIM’s new handsets this year. Details of product launches aren’t yet available as the actual new devices have not even been announced yet; that happens on Jan. 30 when RIM will share information on its next generation of devices.

Sprint was the last of the big four to admit it would sell BlackBerry 10 devices. An official Sprint statement made to BGR confirmed it on Friday, while AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile all confirmed their  plans to Reuters on Wednesday.

The world is certainly bigger than just the U.S. but this development is still a largely positive one for RIM. We’ve seen in the past the good products without the proper marketing and support from carriers have largely failed. Palm’s exclusive deal to sell the Palm Pre only on Sprint initially, is a good example, although there were obviously other issues at play. Look at the original Motorola Droid, on the other hand: Verizon pumped millions into promoting it and the phone kicked off a string of Droid successes for Motorola and the Android market at large.

blackberry-torchThat’s exactly the kind of success RIM needs with its BlackBerry 10 handsets. The company was ill-prepared for the transition to touchscreen hardware and interfaces that started in 2007 and has generally been losing customers and market share ever since. A feeble attempt to graft touch onto a traditional BlackBerry in 2010 — remember the Torch? — wasn’t the answer.

RIM’s best response is sure to be the completely new BlackBerry 10 system, which is looking good so far. Clearly, it’s good enough for the carriers to show interest, and in the U.S., the carriers are still the kingmakers … unless your name is Apple, that is.

  1. Carriers like it, Devs are loving the support they’re getting, bloggers are dying to release ANY bit of information blocked by NDAs. Of course time will tell, but January 30th can’t come soon enough for this tech enthusiast. – Cheers

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  2. Gregg Borodaty Friday, January 11, 2013

    Unless there’s a significant incentive for people to switch away from Android and iOS (which I haven’t seen yet), I don’t see how RIM makes a come back. In other words, RIM would have to practically give the phone away to buy back market share, which Nokia’s trying to do with Lumia 920 with little success.

    RIM will be left to fight it out with Windows Phone for third place scraps in the US market.

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  3. The world’s cell phone users, businesses, governments, and developers need RIM to have a homerun with Blackberry 10 OS and ecosystem.

    Blackberries are all about productivity and not about games or consumerism like Android and iOS products are and always will be.

    Apple iOS is the oldest, least multitasking of all the smart phone or tablet OS’s. Let’s not even talk about the rip-off that are the costs for all the needed dongles and docks which are not needed on any other smart phone and Mobile Device Management just flat out doesn’t work on any iOS products and Apple has no corporate AppleID formula for businesses to manage 100’s or 1,000’s of iOS devices.

    Google’s Android OS is just a mess for developers as you have no standards to develop for screen size or hardware or even which version of Android OS. Android also has no central clearing house for applications from a single store so you can get rouge applications easily into corporate environments via the BYOD model.

    Why is RIM the only company that lets you used your smart phone and tablet together? I mean with my RIM tablet and Blackberry phone I get FREE internet on my tablet from my blackberry via Bluetooth with no carrier costs, when a call comes in on my smart phone it shows on my tablet who is calling or the phone number, any file on my blackberry I can open up on my tablet, when I open an email on my phone I have the choice of opening the attachment or web link up on my tablet, my phone acts as a remote control and keyboard for my tablet for doing presentations for people.

    Looking to see what happens with the Windows 8 phones (not RT) and devices as that looks pretty promising with the ability to manage them in Windows AD as part of a domain.

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