RIM’s Upcoming BB10 Launch Greeted by Brighter Market Prospects

By @ibtimesau on

Few months into its scheduled February 2013 launch for new generation of handsets and a revised mobile platform, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) saw considerable boosts on shares value, reports said.

RIM shares, according to The Financial Post, rose by over 75 per cent in the past two months, buoyed by some glimmer of positive prospects for the new batch of smartphones dubbed as BlackBerry 10.

Initial roll outs of the new BB10s will be headlined by a touch-phone, RIM said, indicating that the Canadian mobile phone maker has embraced the form-factor popularised by Apple and Android, also responsible for decimating RIM's hold on a market that it used to dominate, along with Nokia.

But the QWERTY keys that BlackBerry is known for will remain in the RIM product lines, Reuters said, and will hit major global markets in the upcoming weeks after the debut of the first BB10 phone.

RIM's new road map includes the release of products that will cater both to the high-end and entry-level audiences, further raising the struggling company's prospect of regaining its old self via the BB10 thrust.

And the signs of recovery seem already out there, analysts said, prompting National Bank Financial analyst Kit Thompson to bump up his rating for RIM stocks to 'outperform'.

There is momentum building up on BlackBerry's new products, Mr Thompson said, creating for the company "positive sentiment in the industry."

"The new management team is executing by maintaining the BlackBerry subscriber base, managing costs and cash, and seemingly readying a February 2013 BB10 global platform launch," Agence France Presse (AFP) reported the analyst as saying in his research note.

Noting that BlackBerry had shipped out more than seven million handsets in the September quarter alone plus the positive outlook the company has been generating, it is likely that RIM will push out 35.5 million units in fiscal 2014, Mr Thompson said in his note.

"The shipments boost reflects about one more month of BB10 product availability plus a little extra for the positive sentiment building in the industry from our discussions," Reuters quoted him as saying.

Also, Jefferies & Co analyst Peter Misek pointed to the likelihood that BlackBerry handsets will gain entry in key markets owing to selected telcos' "more positive view of BB10 than we expected."

In a recent interview with Reuters, RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins has expressed confidence that BB10 will enable the company to reverse its monumental slide in the past years as reflected by the 90 per cent drop of its shares value.

In 2008, RIM stocks stood at $US148. As of Thursday this week, it closed at $12, The Financial Post reported.

Mr Heins said he is upbeat that the traction RIM has been gaining will be sustained and will lead to company growth in the years ahead, backed by its new breed of smartphones that offer snappier and smoother gadget experience.

The RIM ecosystem is also expected to host at least 100,000 apps in time for the early 2013 launch of BB10, Mr Heins told Reuters.

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