Bloomberg News

BlackBerry Bold Gets `Fantastic' Response, AT&T Says

November 06, 2008

Research In Motion Ltd.'s (RIMM:US) BlackBerry Bold, competing with Apple Inc.'s iPhone, has received a ``fantastic'' reception from customers, according to AT&T Inc. (T:US) wireless chief Ralph de la Vega.

``We've had people lining up at our stores,'' de la Vega said today at a conference in San Francisco. AT&T has exclusive rights to provide service for the e-mail device, known as a smart phone, in the U.S. The Dallas-based carrier began selling the handset for $299.99 with a contract as of Nov. 4.

That popularity may help Research In Motion regain its advantage over Apple, which overtook its rival in global smart- phone shipments last quarter with the faster 3G model. Research In Motion is counting on the Bold, which has a brighter screen and faster download speeds, and the touch-screen Storm model to lure customers away from Apple.

``The Blackberry Bold is being very well-received by AT&T customers, and people are raving about its many improved features,'' Research in Motion said in an e-mailed statement.

Research In Motion, based in Waterloo, Ontario, fell $5.01, or 9.5 percent, to $47.96 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading (RIMM:US). The shares have dropped 58 percent this year.

Apple shipped 6.9 million iPhone 3Gs in the third quarter, giving the company second place behind Nokia Oyj, according to Reading, England-based researcher Canalys. That compares with 6.05 million BlackBerrys in the same period.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, also won the top ranking in business customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Associates survey of e-mail phone users. Research in Motion and Samsung Electronics Co. followed.

To contact the reporters on this story: Vivek Shankar in San Francisco at vshankar3@bloomberg.net; Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Cesca Antonelli at fantonelli@bloomberg.net


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