Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile will carry BlackBerry 10 phones

Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile will carry BlackBerry 10 phones

Summary: The major three U.S. carriers will support BlackBerry 10 when it launches later this month. Is there enough confidence in the market to make the ailing BlackBerry maker a hit once more?

BlackBerry 10 is set for launch on January 30. Credit: CNET

Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, has the support of the three major U.S. cellular carriers, including Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, once the platform launches later this month.

The support and interest by carriers signals confidence in the new BlackBerry 10 platform, which includes a radical new operating system and platform, and a bevy of new devices. 

RIM will release six devices this year -- after a delay of more than a quarter after delays hit the company's production -- including a touch-screen phone and a QWERTY-keyboard device that will be announced at the company's launch on January 30.

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All in all, the company has reiterated what it previously said that devices will go on sale in Feburary, and more than 150 carriers around the world are testing the new platform. (Enterprise customers have also been given the opportunity to test the new platform in their business settings.) BlackBerry 10 will launch with at least 70,000 applications in the application store.

But the U.S. is where much of BlackBerry 10's future rests, and gaining support from the major carriers was crucial for RIM to get even a headstart with its new business-friendly product.

While Verizon's chief executive Lowell McAdam told the Reuters news agency: "We're hopeful it's going to be a good device," and hedged on the side of caution, he said that Verizon will carry the new BlackBerry 10 platform. 

Meanwhile, AT&T handset chief Jeff Bradley confirmed the second-largest U.S. cellular giant would carry the range of available devices at launch but avoided discussing specifics. "It's logical to expect our current (BlackBerry) customers will have the best BlackBerry devices to choose from in the future," he said.

T-Mobile USA will also carry BlackBerry 10, with chief executive John Legere telling reporters that the company is "extremely optimistic" that the product will be successful among business customers.

It follows news from last year that the major U.K. carriers would also support BlackBerry 10 at launch, including on EE, the U.K.'s first 4G LTE network.

With 79 million existing BlackBerry customers, RIM has to content with keeping its own customers sweet, but also reaching out to the iPhone faithful, who have jumped ship in recent months thanks to the appeal of the device but also its business-friendly platform.

The significant problem for RIM is clawing back its lost market share from enterprise customers. It's not about what the smartphone or tablet does, looks like or feels like; it's what powers the back-end system that counts. 

iPhones in particular have come along way in the past year, and have taken RIM's market share, due to the back-end mobile management systems available for the platform. The iOS-powered device had the aesthetic charm and consumer appeal, but the killer decisions that had to be made by IT managers were made because it had mobile device management (MDM) compatibility. Android devices, on the most part, do not, which is why so many government agencies are heading to Apple and not Google.

According to latest Gartner figures, RIM's market share stands at just over 5 percent of the global smartphone market during the third quarter, down from just over 11 percent on the same quarter a year ago.

Topics: BlackBerry, Smartphones, AT&T, Verizon

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  • "The significant problem for RIM is clawing back its lost market share...

    from enterprise customers"

    I'm not so sure. Especially in this world of BYOD. Blackberry MUST cater to the consumer. Yesterday I watched video from Blackberry World and they seem still to be focused on business. That's fine; but in today's climate the consumer is what drives sales.

    iPhone, Android and even Windows Phone targets consumers along with an, "Oh yeah, you can use this in your place of work too".

    I personally think Blackberry should be hyping up what the 70,000 apps at launch will be rather than focusing on business. I've got a Playbook and not having Netflix & Amazon Kindle reader for example, is a real bummer.

    I think they've got something really good. They've got to get the marketing right if they want to succeed.
    • Amazon Kindle Reader for Playbook

      Amazon Kindle Reader for Playbook is available at Works perfectly and syncs with all of my other Kindle enabled devices.
      • That is true

        I do have that running on my Playbook (plus some other side-loaded apps). The problem is, it's not updated. I want apps that can be installed from AppWorld directly.
    • I disagree

      RIM is focusing on both. They are trying to attract people who like to be efficient and communicate with their friends and business associates.
      They are also concentrating on getting the best possible browser for media consumption and trying to convince as many app developers of consumer related software to develop or port over their applications to BB10 as they can.
      That indicates that the target is anyone who wants a very good smartphone, business or consumer.
      Susan Antony
  • Is there enough market confidence...?

    The same fact that gave origin to this whole article alone should be a VERY strong indication that there is, no?...
    Or do you propose to know more than the market analysts for all those companies?...
  • Interesting

    You including the link about ICE dropping RIM, but you did not include anything about ICE looking at the BB10.

    There is also quite a bit there for the consumer not just business. But if you look at RIM, they have always had a core in the business, so that has to be their starting point. I believe they have covered that very well and added a lot there for the casual user.

    As far as taking market share, that is not Apple anymore, that is Android (more specifically Samsung). They are even stealing it from Apple and Apple is on the decline.

    BTW, is Apple FIPS certified? Oh yeah. Hmm.
  • Blackberry needs to put its prices up!

    An iPhone is an aspirational gadget, expensive enough to satisfy the social ladder climbers, while still affordable enough for the 'wannabes'. The majority of iPhone owners that I know (non-'techies') only use the same functions that they used on their old Blackberries and Nokias, but now on a shinier and prettier device.
    • ?

      But does Blackberry want to put itsaself in the position apple has where having the product is uncool and shows your not that smart of a person and willing to over pay for a sterile low usae smartphone like which is what apple users are perceived as.
      • perception is key...

        BlackBerry phones from RIM were great - ten years ago. They still have some advantages now, in a business environment running the BEServer. That said, the advantage is not much and in many areas the BBs are way behind... So hopefully BB 10OS fixes most of these issues.

        I would also argue that the iPhone/iOS is way more usable fhan any Android product. Sure Apple is sometimes anti feature, but his is mostly a good thing. Some times less is more. The entire tablet industry is now built around the iPad, which was the first tablet to lack standard input (keyboard/ mouse). Also Apple delayed certain features such as copy/paste and SMS/ MMS and 4G because they were not 100% ready.

        Android tosses you everything and the kitchen sink, which can be bad when you just want it to work OR you want more than 45 minutes of talk time on your 12 month old 4G phone...

        Also, Android has market share, but if you check the usage stats, iOS, iPhones and iPads dominate, which could imply these devices are much more useful... and cheap smart phones that are only used to make calls ... voice over POTs.
        Bee Ryan
    • No, RIM should NOT raise their prices

      No! I own an ancient Blackberry Curve 8330. I've kept it for the past 5 years because, in a word, it WORKS. There are things about it that I don't like, and it's long in the tooth now. But if I am going to trade up, I'm not going to spend iPhone prices unless I get an iPhone. The iPhone is proven. I've seen them. I've used them. Lots of people have them. The Blackberry 10 is not a proven at all.

      Maybe in 2 years, if it's a smash hit and it can prove that it has a user interface as slick as an iPhone (good luck, but they deserve to get their shot at it), they can start playing at those price levels. But right now, RIM is the massive underdog. They need to take the attitude that they need to prove themselves all over again before they start jacking up their prices.
  • Are these articles edited?

    I like ZDNet most of the time but it really gets frustrating that there seems to be at least one or two mistakes left in every article.

    For example:
    "Rim has to content with keeping its own customers sweet"...contend* it's*
    "iPhones have come along way in the past year"...a long*

    It's small stuff but when it's noticeable in almost every article it really looks bad.
    • ...

      It's "its". Not "It's"... Try to actually be right when correcting other people's - let alone professionals - English.
      • I corrected myself shortly afterwards and if I was writing a professional article I would be doing a bit more proofreading. Point still stands.
      • Also, professionals' *
    • "its" is actually correct as "it's" is not used for showing possession as I originally thought, but the other two still stand.
    • ...

      And "content" is correct. From the verb "to content oneself", to be satisfied witha certain fact(situation, etc. As opposed to "to contend", to fight against difficulties.

      As stated in the article, "RIM has to be satisfied with keeping its own costumers sweet, (...)"
      • I'm pretty sure contend is the word he was going for here in the context of the sentence:

        "With 79 million existing BlackBerry customers, RIM has to content with keeping its own customers sweet, but also reaching out to the iPhone faithful, who have jumped ship in recent months thanks to the appeal of the device but also its business-friendly platform."

        They have to contend with keeping their own customers happy as well as reaching out to the iPhone users. If he was meaning to use the word content then he missed the word "be" in front of it.
      • No, the grammar is abysmal

        This sentence is an abomination:

        "With 79 million existing BlackBerry customers, RIM has to content with keeping its own customers sweet, but also reaching out to the iPhone faithful, who have jumped ship in recent months thanks to the appeal of the device but also its business-friendly platform."

        His usage of "content" as-is cannot be excused. It is wrong.
    • Are these articles edited?

      Although there is an error in the article (There are likely to be more) where a space should have been inserted between "a" and "long", their use of "its" is grammatically correct (They could have used its' as well.) Your reference to "it's" is a contraction for "it is".
      • Notice that I corrected myself long before you commented.