Research in Motion (RIM) will be launching up to six smartphones covering a range of price categories over the course of the year, in a bid to increase its flagging market share.
With the new BlackBerry 10 set for launch on January 30, RIM chief marketing officer (CMO) Frank Boulben has revealed to FierceWireless that six further models will follow over 2013, targeting a full span of low, middle, and high end markets.
“We intend over time as we transition the portfolio to have a full range of devices,” Boulben said.
The first of the new range of devices will be announced on January 30, at the launch of the BlackBerry 10. This handset will be an all-touch device, with rumours circulating that it may be christened the BlackBerry Z10. Another handset is also set for launch, which will feature a QWERTY keyboard, and may be called the BlackBerry X10.
BlackBerry has seen its market share slide over the past year, with rival companies running Android and iOS pulling ahead with a multiplicity of trending smartphone handsets. In the third quarter of 2012, Blackberry held only 5.3 percent of the global smartphone market, down from 11 percent in the equivalent period of 2013, according to research company Gartner.
It is to combat this decline that BlackBerry has taken the risky step of totally remodelling its operating platform for the BlackBerry 10 device range, and it is largely agreed that the latest model will be the making or the breaking of the company.
Boulben declares that RIM is confident that the new operating system will spell success for the company and will attract consumers back to Blackberry, saying: “[The carriers] very much believe that we can be the third platform.”
The BlackBerry 10 range will also see RIM stand up to widespread criticism of BlackBerry for lacking popular features and add-ons, with Boulben promising the BlackBerry 10 will launch with over 70,000 applications at the end of the month, as well as improvements to its multi-media and web-browsing capabilities.
“We will be competitive,” said Boulben.
Boulben made clear that the BlackBerry 10 will not have an exclusive carrier, and is currently being tested by over 150 carriers globally, in a bid to expand its new platform and range of devices across the world-wide market.