RIM to Release New BlackBerry Operating System, Web Browser Next Quarter

Research In Motion Ltd., the maker of the BlackBerry handset, will release a new operating system and Web browser next quarter as it overhauls its software to attract more consumers.

“We’ll do our best” to make sure all devices have the 6.0 operating system in the future and it will be designed to work with current devices as much as possible, Co-Chief Executive Officer Mike Lazaridis said today at a conference in Orlando, Florida. The company aimed to “fix the things that people wanted to see fixed,” he said.

RIM seeks to win over customers who have opted for Apple’s touch-screen iPhone or devices based on Google Inc.’s Android software. RIM will soon include its App World site for downloadable applications on all BlackBerrys and is adding carrier and credit-card billing to the site, Lazaridis said.

The new OS will be “very familiar to anyone who’s used the BlackBerry,” he said. It will work on touch-screen devices like the Storm2 and traditional BlackBerry models with a keypad like the Curve and Bold, he said.

Earlier, in a series of presentations by RIM executives, Chief Operating Officer Don Morrison said China will account for a larger share of revenue in 2010 than last year as the company expands in the world’s largest wireless market. Morrison didn’t give a figure when he spoke today at the conference, where RIM introduced the BlackBerry Pearl 3G and the BlackBerry Bold 9650.

Profit margins narrowed last quarter as the company moved into developing countries to counter slowing growth in North America. The average price of a handset was $311 in the quarter and may fall as low as $305 this quarter, RIM said last month. Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie said the new phones will raise the average selling price of RIM’s handsets.

“You’re going to see ASP come up with new devices,” Balsillie said at the conference.

RIM rose $2.08, or 3 percent, to $72.70 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The stock has gained 7.6 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net;

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