RIM shares jump ahead of BlackBerry 10 launch

TORONTO Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:46pm IST

Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins discusses features of the Blackberry 10 during his keynote address during the Blackberry Jam Americas in San Jose, California September 25, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files

Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins discusses features of the Blackberry 10 during his keynote address during the Blackberry Jam Americas in San Jose, California September 25, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/Files

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TORONTO (Reuters) - Shares of Research In Motion Ltd RIM.TO RIMM.O surged as much as 11 percent on Monday as the countdown toward the January 30 launch of its long-awaited BlackBerry 10 smartphones winds down and carrier support for the new line builds.

RIM stock rose as high C$15.08 in early Nasdaq trading. Some analysts said a dearth of any major smartphone news at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week boded well for RIM as it inches closer toward unveiling the make-or-break new line.

"The lack of new smartphone buzz could be seen as positive given it clears the road for the BlackBerry 10 device announcement January 30," TD Securities analyst Scott Penner said in a note to clients.

The lack of news was expected. Even so, Penner wrote, it reassured investors that the BlackBerry 10 would be competitive with the best that Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), Nokia (NOK1V.HE) and other rivals have on offer.

The stock also got a boost from media reports on Monday that Aircel and Vodafone Group Plc are gearing up to market the new BlackBerry in India. RIM has long counted India for strong growth, especially as its current lineup has lost ground in North America and Europe.

The Indian news comes just days after three of the top U.S. mobile carriers - Verizon Communications (VZ.N), AT&T Inc (T.N) and T-Mobile USA - signaled that they would support RIM's BlackBerry 10 products.

Shares of RIM were up 9.6 percent at $14.86 at 1100 EST (1600 GMT) on the Nasdaq, while its Toronto-listed shares were up 9.7 percent at C$14.62. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty; and Peter Galloway)

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