Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) gears up to launch its highly anticipated BlackBerry Z10 in the United States Friday, after almost two months of delays.
The Canadian pioneer of smartphones expects the device to change its fortune in the fiercely competitive U.S. smartphone market. The device has received fairly positive review, gained investors confidence and the company has already allocated its biggest ever marketing budget to promote the device.
With BlackBerry Z10, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has shifted from its traditional physical keypad to touch-screen. Its BlackBerry Balance features separates work and personal profiles. But it has to fight against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5 and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930)’s Galaxy series. Research In Motion has priced Z10 in the range of iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3, and those companies definitely have more cash than the Canadian company.
Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s share in the U.S. smartphone market has fallen from 50 percent in 2009 to less than 6 percent in 2012, primarily due to the company’s failure to adopt important features like touch-screen and a solid app base, according to comScore. But now BlackBerry is ready to fight back with Z10 which has stunning features and over 100,000 apps.
Z10, which is already selling in the U.K., Canada and India, will be launched in the U.S. by AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). A week later, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile USA will also start selling the device. AT&T will offer the device for $199 on a two-year postpaid contract. The device was finally launched in the international market on January 30 after almost a year of delays.
Now the BlackBerry Z10 must justify the year long wait of its BB10 operating system. After so many delays, if the device fails to stop a decline in the company’s market share, people won’t show much patience with BlackBerry again.
A few days ago, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) announced that one of its “established partners” has ordered a record 1 million BlackBerry 10 smartphones. However, RIM didn’t disclose which company placed the biggest order in its history. Analysts speculate that the order must have been placed by one of three telecom carriers: AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) or T-Mobile USA.
Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) shares were up 1.44 percent to $16.23 at 3:10 PM EDT.