After a disastrous year that saw many smartphone users and corporations drop the Blackberry in favour of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, RIM is hoping that the launch of its new BlackBerrys will help it claw its way back into the market and make it even more popular in emerging markets, where BlackBerrys are already the preferred choice.
The release of the new Blackberry 10 (BB10) operating system phones is scheduled for January 30.
Its stock was lately up by 11% in late afternoon trade, at $17.44, at one point touching $18.38.
Traders were bumping the stock higher after reports that CEO Thorsten Heins said the company was keeping the door open to new alliances, which includes a potential sale of its hardware business and the licensing of its software.
It also got suppport after analyst Peter Misek of Jefferies & Co. on Friday upgraded his recommendation to “buy” and boosted his share price target to $19.50 (U.S.) from $13 previously.
The upgrade is the latest in a series of bullish analyst reports, as app developers and carriers are showing greater-than-expected support for the upcoming BlackBerry 10 system.