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January 14, 2013

Major U.S. Wireless Carriers Pick Up RIM’s BlackBerry 10

All four major U.S. wireless carriers — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint — will offer Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry 10, which the company will debut at the end of the month.

According to a Reuters report, AT&T senior vice-president Jeff Bradley said it was only “logical” AT&T’s customers “will have the best BlackBerry devices to choose from.”

T-Mobile CEO John Legere told Reuters his firm is “extremely optimistic” BlackBerry 10 will be successful, adding T-Mobile’s business customers will be “extremely interested in it.”

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said the company is “hopeful its going to be a good device,” adding “we’ll carry it.”

A Sprint spokesperson told eWEEK it will offer the device to customers “later this year.”

The BlackBerry 10 may be the beleaguered Ontario company’s last chance at redemption. RIM’s devices dominated the market at one time, but have since fallen victim to Apple’s iPhone and devices powered by Google’s Android operating system. With a net loss of $235 million in the last quarter of 2012, RIM desperately needs its new Smartphones to be a success.

RIM has one advantage over the competition, however: top-notch security. RIM announced last fall it had secured a key U.S. government security clearance, paving the way the BlackBerry 10 to be the device of choice for the feds.

RIM said its BlackBerry 10 received it U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) certification. Translation: the devices can be used to send classified data between government employees.

The rigorous testing the BlackBerry 10 has withstood may also give RIM an advantage in the business market. Fifty phone carriers from across the globe have tested the devices. The carriers, which RIM declined to name, were checking to ensure the new devices are compatible with their systems.