Canadian phone maker Research In Motion has begun showing its new
BlackBerry smartphones to wireless carriers around the world, but the
struggling company says it is still months away from starting to sell
The smartphones running the new BlackBerry 10 operating system
are critical to RIM's survival. RIM executives met with wireless
companies this week and provided a glimpse of the much delayed system.
It is due out early next year and comes as North Americans are abandoning BlackBerrys for flashier iPhones and Android phones.
McLeod, managing director of RIM's Canadian operations, said Thursday
that feedback from wireless carriers has been positive. McLeod said the
company will begin to discuss the product launches and other business
aspects with the carriers soon.
"We're in the process of
finalizing the software," McLeod said. "It was at a point where we had a
confidence level that we could really demonstrate the validity of the
products and software. Obviously you don't want to show something that
is not going to wow folks. People were excited with what they saw."
Saunders, vice president of developer relations for RIM, said RIM is
still "months and months" away from shipping the devices. RIM hosted
hundreds of app developers at a conference near the company's
headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario on Thursday. Saunders has been trying
to rally software developers to build for the new BlackBerry platform.
RIM has lagged Apple in app development
The new BlackBerrys will
be released months after Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 5.
Analysts believe the launch will be Apple's biggest product introduction
RIM's platform transition is also happening under a new
management team and as RIM lays off 5,000 employees as part of a bid to
save $1 billion.
Thorsten Heins, who took over as RIM's chief
executive in January after the company lost tens of billions in market
value, had vowed to do everything he could to release BlackBerry 10 this
year but he said in June that the timetable simply wasn't realistic.