Rogers To Offer BlackBerry 10 Devices Early Next Year

by Gaurav Kheterpal on December 18, 2012

The writing is on the wall for Research In Motion – it’s fate hangs in balance and there’s no doubt that fortunes of the Waterloo-based smartphone giant now rest upon the ‘misguided‘ BlackBerry 10. While RIM has seen a number of positives ever since it introduced the BlackBerry 10 features in September, it would be a tough ask for BlackBerry 10 as a platform to cover up lost ground against iOS and Android.

BB10 has offered a feel good factor for sure though as the company reported second quarter figures that beat estimates and there’ve been a few momentary stock bounces, thanks largely to lowered expectations.

In a show of strength aimed to promote the BB10 platform, RIM yesterday announced that more than 120 U.S. companies, including 64 members of the Fortune 500, have agreed to ‘evaluate’ the new BlackBerry 10 platform. To boost its presence on home turf, Rogers yesterday announced that  it will offer customers BlackBerry 10 in early 2013 on the Rogers LTE network, and priority access to beat the line and reserve a device through the Rogers Reservation System.

While the early signs for BB10 are encouraging, I can’t help wonder – has RIM left it too late?

Rogers holds several “firsts” in the Canadian wireless arena.  It was the first carrier in North America to roll out an HSPA+ network with speeds up to 21 Mbps. Last year, it became the ‘first Canadian Carrier‘ to launch LTE. Last August, the company scored another first as it launched a ‘Smart Home Monitoring Service‘ – a security system that allows homeowners to control appliances remotely using a smartphone. And now, it’s no surprise that Rogers will be the first Canadian carrier to offer BlackBerry 10 devices.

“Building on our history of innovative firsts, we are excited to offer our customers the opportunity to be among the first in the world to reserve their BlackBerry 10 device,” said John Boynton, executive vice president marketing, chief marketing officer, Rogers Communications. “Rogers was the first carrier in Canada to launch BlackBerry, and the first in Canada to launch an LTE network. We look forward to adding BlackBerry 10 to the largest selection of LTE devices available in Canada — all powered by the Rogers LTE network, Canada’s fastest network in the most places*.”

On the other hand, RIM has been drumming up enthusiasm for BB10 platform in the enterprise and government segments. The ‘BlackBerry 10 Ready Program’- an invitation only program involves customers in a variety of industries including financial, government, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, media and distribution. Though all 120 companies participating in the program are based in the U.S., many of these have global operations – so the testing will be done across their international operations. RIM will be bearing the cost of the trials as part of this program.
All that’s known about the new BlackBerry 10 devices – they will be “all-touch” devices but there’s no word on pricing or specs for now.
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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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