UPDATED Jan. 11, 9:40 a.m. ET, with Sprint information below.
BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion can breathe a sigh of relief, for now — America's top carriers haven't given up on the once-great handset giant.
AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile aren't being specific about which or how many devices they'll offer, but they've all said this week that they plan to be on the train when RIM's new operating system, BlackBerry 10, makes its debut on Jan. 30, Reuters reported.
Sprint confirmed for us on Friday that it too will carry BB10 devices this year and promises more details soon.
This confirms many of the reports we've been hearing for months, that carriers have been enthusiastic about the BlackBerry 10 testing process, which has done wonders for RIM's stock price, more than doubling from September to December, only to give back almost half of that gain after a lousy earnings report on Dec. 21.
There's no confirmation yet on names of devices that will be available right out of the gate, but media reports have centered around the BlackBerry London and the Z10. A RIM exec confirmed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week that we'll see a touchscreen phone and one with a physical keyboard at launch; no fewer than six BB10 devices this year will go on sale in 2013.
RIM is merely a blip in the rearview mirrors of manufacturing leaders Apple and Samsung, while its operating-system market share has also fallen far behind Apple's iOS, Google's Android, and possibly Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 when the next set of numbers come out. With Android and iOS so far out in front, battling Windows for third place is RIM's immediate goal with BlackBerry 10.
RIM used to be the world leader in high-end devices, but got left behind for a number of reasons – the most critical being the apps craze. Apple and Google unveiled wildly popular applications stores that attracted developers who flocked to get their programs in those storefronts – and the public responded by gobbling them up at an incredible pace that's still going strong today.
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