Tue, Apr 16, 2013 - Page 13 News List

RIM plans to launch six smartphones this year

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Canadian smartphone maker Research In Motion Ltd (RIM) plans to launch six new smartphones powered by its BlackBerry 10 operating system this year to boost sales in emerging markets, the company said.

The new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 are the company’s only two high-end models for this year, the company said at the launch of its Z10 smartphone in Taiwan yesterday.

DWINDLING SHARE

According to market research firm Gartner Inc, RIM shipped 34.21 million smartphones last year, accounting for 2 percent of the global smartphone market, which is dominated by Apple Inc of the US and Samsung Electronics Co of South Korea.

Last year’s shipments were 33.62 percent lower than the 51.54 million units shipped in 2011, when RIM held 2.9 percent of the market, Gartner said.

“We believe our new products — the Z10 and the Q10, which feature innovation and security, and our new BlackBerry 10 operating system that enables users to do ‘mobile computing’ while social networking with friends or carrying out many other tasks — will provide consumers new choices and a satisfying user experience,” RIM managing director in Greater China Lee Simmons said at the product launch in Taipei.

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH

The Canadian company introduced the BlackBerry 10 on Jan. 30 and said it believed the new operating system could lead the company into 10 years of sustainable growth.

Three months later, the company unveiled its full-screen touch-enabled Z10 and the QWERTY keyboard-equipped Q10.

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) will be the sole telecom carrier selling the new BlackBerry products in Taiwan.

Consumers can purchase the Z10 for NT$19,900 or pay a minimum monthly subscription fee of NT$2,199 to Taiwan Mobile under a two-year contract to own the device for free.

RIM said it plans to launch the Q10 in Taiwan later this year, pending regulatory approval.

“There’s a chance that we can launch the Q10 in Taiwan within three months,” Simmons said.

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