Wal-Mart confirmed this week that its Canadian stores will be selling BlackBerry 10-powered smartphones once Research in Motion releases these devices shortly after the January 30 BlackBerry 10 launch event. This move is expected to give RIM a larger presence and a better chance to fulfill the potential of BlackBerry 10, an operating system considered by many to be “make or break” for the troubled Canadian company.
Wal-Mart’s decision to stock BlackBerry 10 phones right off the bat won’t just be good business for RIM, according to an opinion piece from tech site TechnoBuffalo. Aside from being “good for long-term mindshare”, the site believes that RIM focusing on its home country before other markets would be a good way to convert those who are still skeptical about the chances of BlackBerry 10’s success.
The site did acknowledge, though, that BlackBerry 10’s “home field advantage” may not make it the “automatic choice”, considering that Wal-Mart also stocks devices from Apple, Samsung and other manufacturers that have since overtaken RIM in the smartphone sales charts.
In other RIM and BlackBerry 10 news, a second “port-a-thon”, or live application submission session, attracted close to 20,000 new apps over the weekend, adding to the 15,000 submitted in an earlier port-a-thon. This should add to the 70,000 apps expected to be available on BlackBerry World once the BB10 handsets are ready for release next month.
RIM will be releasing two BlackBerry 10 phones after the launch event – the all-touch Z10 and the smaller X10 with physical keyboard and a similar design to the BlackBerry Bold.