RIM hopes to kill iPhone
Blackberry maker Research In Motion (Rim) is expected to announce the release of its new “iPhone killer” handset next week.
It is understood the firm will unveil its 9800 model touchscreen smartphone at a press conference in New York on Tuesday.
The launch has special significance for the firm which has seen its share price drop 21 per cent this year after struggling to keep up with rivals including the iPhone and Google’s Android range.
It hopes the new model – thought to feature a slide-out keyboard similar to the latest offerings from Motorola and Nokia – will stop the hemorrhaging of customers to the likes of Apple.
Tom Gidley-Kitchin from Charles Stanley stressed the importance of this launch for Rim.
He told City A.M.: “The BlackBerry’s basic strength – email on your phone – has been eroded as this function has become available across the board.
“Rim needs to try and make its handsets fashionable again if it is going to be able to compete. Will this launch be enough? I suspect not.
“The new Android phones are increasing competition in every section of the market.
“We will see a whole range of new devices coming out over the next few months powered by the new ARM chip that came onto the market earlier this year. This should make for some pretty impressive phones.”
Rim will be keen to get its new offering on shelves in time for the lucrative back-to-school market.
AT&T is expected to exclusively carry the phone in the US. O2 has been tipped to win the contract in the UK.
Rim and the major UK carriers declined to comment.