RIM: Christmas momentum key to BB10 success

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Manufacturer says strong prepay sales performance over festive period is vital in the weeks leading up to launch of new platform

Research In Motion (RIM) has said momentum built through strong sales over Christmas will be vital in getting BlackBerry 10 off to a good start.

The BlackBerry 10 platform is scheduled for release in January 2013, something the manufacturer claims is the “next generation of mobile computing” and “addresses the fundamental needs of the next wave of this market”.

However, recently appointed UK and Ireland managing director Rob Orr insists the focus remains on its current BlackBerry 7 platform, and with the manufacturer having over eight million subscribers in the UK, is still performing strongly.

He said continuing to build on partnerships with its retail, operator and distribution partners will be key in maintaining momentum over Christmas and continuing that into the launch of BlackBerry 10 early next year.

“The UK is such an important market for us. Despite all the negativity that tends to wash over from the Atlantic, we have eight million subscribers in the UK and the Curve 9320 continues to be a smash success as it is the number one fleet-deployed smartphone in the enterprise market.

“A huge proportion of the business for the operators and retailers over the Christmas trading period is in prepay gifting, and is a market we have performed particularly strongly in over the past two years. As we run into Christmas, we have really good momentum and traction with our channel partners.

“Getting the handsets out there, at the right prices and tariffs, building relationships with retailers and getting the message out to channels is key and such a big foundation block to what we’re building with BlackBerry 10.”

RIM UK and Ireland senior director of retail and distribution Jonathan Young said such has been the focus on Christmas, plans have been ongoing for the past six months, with nine handset colour variants planned for its channel partners to sell.

“Although much of the talk is about BlackBerry 10, we’re coming up to Christmas, we have BlackBerry 7 and that’s here to stay, he said. Our past two Christmases have been extremely successful, our partners are behind us again so we’re really excited by what we can achieve.

“The gifting time is ideal for BlackBerry. This has been the focus since April, so we’ve lined up all our marketing plans and activity for the big Christmas push. This is all about building momentum and continuing that into Q1 2013.”

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