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November 30, 2012

RIM shares surging on BB10 hopes

Goldman Sachs upgrades RIM to buy ahead of new operating system launch

By Steve Evans

There is some good news at last for beleaguered BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM). The company’s stock price is surging as momentum builds ahead of the release of its new operating system.

Optimism surrounding the launch of BlackBerry 10 (BB10) resulted in Goldman Sachs raising its rating for the Canadian firm to "buy" as well as increasing its price target from $9 to $15.

The news sent shares up 6% in trading. According to Google shares are currently trading at $11.39, well up on the $6 – $8 range the company has been stuck in for a long time. At the height of its powers RIM shares were trading around $150.

Goldman analyst Simona Jankowski said that the early reaction to the BB10 operating system and new hardware has been good, and may give RIM the boost it has been waiting for.

"With these devices RIM appears to finally be aiming for the leading edge hardware performance that was missing from its prior generations," Jankowski said.

Heavy investment in the developer industry means that there could be an acceptable number of apps released for BB10 when the new operating system eventually sees the light of day in early 2013. This has helped with the positive thinking, Jankowski added.

BB10 has been delayed so often that some industry watchers questioned whether it would ever see the light of day. However the company has confirmed an event on January 30th, with BB10 expected to be released in the days after that.

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The company recently spoke to CBR about its hopes for BB10, telling us that it thinks new features can help it win the BYOD war with a platform that workers are happy to use and that businesses are happy to support.

"BB10 has been designed from the ground up to take advantage of [BYOD]. That separation of work and personal information has been built-in from the root of the hardware right up throughout the device," said Jeff Holleran, senior director of enterprise product management at RIM.

One of the features the company is pushing is BlackBerry Balance, which creates a strict divide between personal and business identities on the one device. Data cannot be transferred between the two and IT has the capability to wipe the business side without touching the personal side.

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