BlackBerry maker RIM has clearly been on the phone to its carrier chums in the UK: EE, O2 and Vodafone have all this morning announced they will be offering BlackBerry 10 devices starting in January next year when RIM’s next-gen platform launches. The EE deal covers the U.K.’s first 4G network, 4GEE — suggesting that RIM will launch a 4G BB10 handset in the UK — as well as EE’s 3G mobile brands — Orange and T-Mobile.
O2 tweeted the news that it will be putting BB10 devices on its shelves in 2013 earlier this morning
Really happy to say we’ll be selling BlackBerry 10 in early 2013: o2lin.kr/SNTiwF. Watch out for more info soon.
— O2 in the UK (@O2) December 19, 2012
We’ve reached out to Three, the U.K.’s smallest carrier, to ask if it will be ranging BlackBerry 10 devices in January and
will update this story when we know more it has confirmed it also will offer BB10.
RIM is going to need as many carriers on board as possible if it’s to start clawing back lost marketshare. The BlackBerry-maker’s global market share dwindled to just 4.3 percent in Q3 (IDC’s figure) so volume is the name of the game here — ergo: this is not a time for carrier exclusives.
Canadian carriers Rogers has even opened up customer reservations for BB10 devices, despite the fact full details have not yet been released about any of the BB10 handsets that will be offered in January — although we do know RIM plans to offer a Qwerty device, and a full touchscreen handset.
RIM has been doing lots of things to plug the platform gap between its current gen BB7 devices, on sale now, and next year’s BB10 devices — including offering business customers incentives to start learning about BB10, seeding BB10 devices and software to certain enterprise customers and offering developers freebies to get building BB10 apps.