UK networks line up to support BlackBerry 10

Allan Swann
December 19, 2012

All of the major telcos have lined up to show their support for the troubled Research in Motion’s BlackBerry 10 devices, due to launch in the new year.

Everything Everywhere (EE), O2, Vodafone and Three have all confirmed that they intend to supply the new BlackBerry 10 handsets on launch, which RIM is planning for January 30.

EE has also added that it will run on the company’s 4G network, but none of the network operators would confirm details on pricing or availability. All of the networks have confirmed they have been testing BB10, but no actual handsets have been seen in the wild, outside of development kits – which RIM has said will not represent the final device.

Once the businessman’s smartphone of choice, it has since been overtaken by Apple and Google Android rivals, which have utilised third party and proprietary Mobile Device Management software to offer the same work-based email services BlackBerry became famous for – the same tools that allowed it to become a near monopoly on public sector and corporate smartphone usage in the mid 2000s.

Nowadays BlackBerry is more synonymous with teenagers and BlackBerry Messenger, another market the company will be keen to target – despite its massively delayed launch.

BlackBerry 10 was originally meant to launch more than a year ago, and has faced repeated delays as the company churned through turmoil at the leadership level (the board ousted co-CEOS and Chairmen Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, and installed money man Thorsten Heins), the failed launch of its BlackBerry Playbook tablet and a series of network outages that had consumers questioning the platform’s stability.

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