Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT:US), the world’s largest retailer, will sell Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM:US)’s new BlackBerry 10 in Canada and possibly the U.S., giving the smartphone maker another ally in its comeback effort.
Wal-Mart’s Canadian unit is taking pre-orders from customers for the phone, which Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM will debut on Jan. 30, said Alex Roberton, a Wal-Mart Canada spokesman, following a meeting at Bloomberg’s Toronto office.
Wal-Mart is still confirming its plans for BlackBerry 10 in the U.S., spokeswoman Sarah Spencer said, declining to comment further.
RIM is counting on enthusiasm for the BlackBerry 10, especially in Canada where earlier models first appeared more than a decade ago, to reverse six quarters of declining sales and make the brand competitive again with Apple Inc. (AAPL:US)’s iPhone. RIM shares have nearly tripled since late September on optimism for its prospects of a recovery.
RIM jumped 13 percent to $17.90 at 4 p.m. in New York, its highest since Dec. 1, 2011.
Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas said today it will spend C$450 million ($453 million) building new outlets and renovating stores in Canada, and expects to have 379 locations in the country by the end of the month.
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