Research In Motion has said that it plans to release a wide range of BlackBerry 10 devices that will hit low, middle and high price points in order to capture more of the smartphone market. In addition, three major U.S. mobile carriers — Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile — say they will support BlackBerry 10 products.
RIM CMO Frank Boulben told Fierce Wireless at CES that RIM will release at least six BlackBerry 10 devices this year, beginning with an all-touch device and phone with a Qwerty keyboard that will be officially announced on Jan. 30. The company has previously said that it plans to start selling the BB10 smartphones in February, and that 150 carriers around the world are currently testing devices using BB10, which will launch with at least 70,000 apps.
RIM has been hyping the BlackBerry 10 operating system as a major alternative to Android and iOS and hopes that BB10 devices will help its smartphones regain market share from Apple and Samsung. In October it showed off BB10’s BlackBerry Hub real-time notification and other features in London, before CEO Thorsten Heins and Vice President Andrew Bocking were photographed at a Los Angeles Lakers Game using BB10 phones.
The existing base of BlackBerry subscribers numbers 79 million, according to Boulben, but the company’s market share has slipped dramatically over the past year. In the third quarter of 2012, RIM had 5.3% of the global smartphone market, down from 11% in the year-ago period, according to research by Gartner.