Bloomberg News

RIM Introduces Two Smartphones Running BlackBerry 7 System

November 16, 2011

(Updates with closing share price in sixth paragraph.)

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Research In Motion Ltd., struggling to stem sales declines amid competition from Apple Inc., unveiled two smartphones running the current BlackBerry 7 software as it prepares to introduce a new operating system.

The BlackBerry Bold 9790 and BlackBerry Curve 9380 will be available from carriers around the world over the coming weeks, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company said today in a statement.

The phones are designed to keep customers from defecting to Apple’s iPhone and handsets running Google Inc.’s Android until devices based on RIM’s new BBX operating system are introduced in 2012. RIM’s shares has declined 67 percent this year because of market-share losses to Apple and Android, valuing the company at less than its assets.

Separately, Sameet Kanade, an analyst at Northern Securities in Toronto, raised his rating on RIM to “speculative buy” from “sell” with a 12-month target of $26.

“Sentiment is extremely negative and the pullback has been too significant, too severe, and it’s not justified right now,” Kanade said in an interview. “This company has 70 million subscribers that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.”

RIM rose 4.6 percent to $19.13 at the close in New York.

The 9380 is the first in the Curve family to feature a touch screen and it includes social-networking applications like Facebook and Twitter, as well as RIM’s free BlackBerry Messenger instant-messaging service. The Curve models, which sell for less than RIM’s top-of-the-line Bold phones, have spurred sales growth in markets such as Indonesia and India even as BlackBerry sales in the U.S. have declined.

The 9790 is comparable with the Bold 9900 released in August, though smaller in dimensions and with raised function buttons below the screen.

--Editors: Simon Thiel, Ville Heiskanen

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Browning in London jbrowning9@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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