Research in Motion, the besieged BlackBerry handset maker, is now ramping up its efforts to prepare its customers to adapt to its soon-to-be-released BlackBerry 10 phones as it hopes to regain market shares from competitors like Apple Inc.
Set to be launched on January 30, BlackBerry 10 is the perceived savior of the struggling Research In Motion, which has seen its customer base shrink over the years. The new BlackBerry 10 will not feature a range of keyboard devices as well as touch screen.
RIM’s senior enterprise accounts director, Bryan Lee, said that his company was “very enthused by the engagement and response of our customer base”, referring to the program that aimed to convince customers to switch to BlackBerry 10.
RIM’s success in this endeavor now depends whether or not its big customers like top government agencies and companies, who have long valued BlackBerry’s strong security features, will respond positively to the new phones and operating system.
Mr Lee disclosed that more than 1,600 customers in North America had responded and registered for the BlackBerry 10 Ready Program, while more than a thousand are currently actively using it. The said program provides easy access to services, tools, and information to make the transition to Blackberry Enterprise Server 10 and BlackBerry 10 as easy as possible.
The new BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 running new devices on company networks, is currently in beta testing with over 130 big corporations and government agencies all around North America, according to RIM.
Once a leading phone services and maker, RIM is now gradually losing its market share to rivals like Google’s Android and Apple Inc’s iOS operating systems. Even RIM’s big enterprise clients who once used BlackBerry extensively are slowly switching over to RIM’s rivals.
It is expected that a renewed adoption of the new BlackBerry 10 by corporate and government clients will significantly help RIM remain as a sizeable contender in the lucrative smartphone market. The company has lost more than 90 percent of its shares from an all time high of over $148 in 2008.
RIM’s shares had seen some signs of coming back last September after if fell to as low as $6.22. Its shares had since then doubled in value over the last 4 months following the company’s announcement of the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system.
Lee mentioned that some clients beta testing the new BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 includes over 60 Fortune 500 corporations and big North American government agencies.
RIM is also banking on the enhanced performance and smoother operation of the new operating system. A wide range of apps, an important aspect for a successful operating system and new line of smartphones, will also be offered to customers, said RIM.
Shares of the company increased by 3.8 percent at $15.03 during the afternoon trading on the Nasdaq yesterday, following the Visa’s approval of RIM’s method of handling secure mobile payments. This new payment technology can let customers’ phones use credit card readers and pay online transactions.