RIMM Considering iPhone Rival - Globe & Mail

Research In Motion's (RIMM) Blackberry has long been the corporate phone of choice, but a report in Canada's Globe and Mail says the company has launched an important move to grab market share in the consumer cell phone segment in the U.S. Consumer-geared versions of the Blackberry, such as the Pearl, already contribute about 30% of RIMM's revenue. Now the company is looking to strengthen its foothold by releasing a touch screen phone that resemble's Apple's hugely-successful iPhone, as well as a new version of the Pearl that will offer a QWERTY-like keyboard, according to a research note by GMP Securities analyst Ray Sharma. Also, the company opened its first retail outlet last week in a suburb of Detroit. Sharma sees February as an early release date for the new phones, although he says it is not yet definite the phones will go into production. Increased costs will come with the new source of revenue, including manufacturing, tech support, and sales force education. "It's much more expensive," Info-Tech Research Group analyst Michelle Warren said. "But it opens up the market for them and they are in a position where they can expand their offerings." RIMM will release earnings late Thursday. Shares of Research In Motion gained 1.4% to $102.13.Complete Story »

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