Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) has begun showing its new BlackBerry smartphones to wireless carriers around the world, but the struggling company remains “months and months” away from starting to sell them.
RIM plans to soon begin commercial talks with Canadian wireless carriers such as BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. after showing them early versions of the BlackBerry 10 phone, Bloomberg news reported Thursday.
Rogers and BCE were among the first to sell BlackBerry devices when they debuted more than a decade ago and will again be key to spreading early enthusiasm for the new models, said Andrew MacLeod, who heads the company’s Canadian business.
The smartphones running the new operating system are critical to RIM’s survival. RIM executives met with wireless companies this week and provided a glimpse of the much-delayed system.
It is due out early next year and comes as North Americans are abandoning BlackBerrys for flashier iPhones and Android phones.
Andrew McLeod, managing director of RIM’s Canadian operations, said Thursday that feedback from those carriers has been positive. McLeod says the company will begin to discuss product launches and other business aspects with the carriers soon.
“It’s important to show strength in our home market,” MacLeod told reporters today at a briefing in Waterloo, Ontario, near RIM’s headquarters. “We are working with Canadian operators to develop a true platform launch.”
RIM’s share of the global smartphone market fell to 4.8 percent in the second quarter from 12 percent a year earlier, according to IDC.
RIM has said it plans to introduce a BB10 model with a traditional keyboard and a full touchscreen version in the first quarter of next year. MacLeod said he couldn’t confirm whether RIM has begun talks with major U.S. carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc.
RIM operates a research and development office in the Research Triangle.