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RIM Plans to Start BlackBerry 10 Talks With Rogers, BCE

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Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Research In Motion Ltd. plans to soon begin commercial talks with Canadian wireless carriers such as BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. after showing them early versions of the BlackBerry 10 phone this week.

Rogers and BCE were among the first to sell BlackBerry devices when they debuted more than a decade ago and will again be key to spreading early enthusiasm for the new models, said Andrew MacLeod, who heads the company’s Canadian business.

“It’s important to show strength in our home market,” MacLeod told reporters today at a briefing in Waterloo, Ontario, near RIM’s headquarters. “We are working with Canadian operators to develop a true platform launch.”

RIM is counting on BB10 to get it back in the game with Apple Inc. and Google Inc.’s more popular platforms after U.S. and Canadian consumers dumped BlackBerry models in favor of devices like the touchscreen iPhone. That trend cut RIM’s share of the global smartphone market to 4.8 percent in the second quarter from 12 percent a year earlier, according to IDC.

RIM has said it plans to introduce a BB10 model with a traditional keyboard and a full touchscreen version in the first quarter of next year. MacLeod said he couldn’t confirm whether RIM has begun talks with major U.S. carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc.

RIM was little changed at $7.07 at the close in New York. The stock has dropped 95 percent from its mid-2008 high.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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