Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is now showing its brand new BlackBerry smartphone to wireless carriers around the world, but it will still be months before the company is ready to start selling the device to consumers. RIM had earlier announced the postponement of the device’s launch and said it was targeting the release date for sometime early next year.
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Sales of the BlackBerry, once a high-selling line, have dwindled as consumers shift to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones and new Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android-powered devices. The BlackBerry 10 is being considered critical to the struggling company’s fortunes.
RIM executives met with wireless companies this week to offer them a glimpse of the new hardware as well as software, the Associated Press said. Andrew McLeod, the managing director of RIM’s Canadian operations, said the carriers said they liked what they saw and that his company will start its launch discussions with them soon. “We’re in the process of finalizing the software,” he said. “It was at a point where we had a confidence level that we could really demonstrate the validity of the products and software. Obviously you don’t want to show something that is not going to wow folks. People were excited with what they saw.”
New chief executive Thorsten Heins, who took over in January, has said he’ll do everything to release the device as soon as possible, but accepted there was some way to go. Alec Saunders, the vice president of developer relations, reiterated that the company was “months and months” away from shipping the devices.
RIM, whose stock has fallen from over $140 a share in June 2008 to around $7 now, also laid off 5,000 employees recently to cut costs.
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