TORONTO - A prominent tech analyst is giving Research In Motion's new operating system a small but improved chance of success in the competitive smartphone market when it launches in early 2013.

Analyst Peter Misek of New York-based Jeffries & Company said Tuesday that he's still giving the BlackBerry 10 operating system only a 20 per cent to 30 per cent probability of success.

But that's an improvement on his previous assessment of 10 per cent to 20 per cent chance of success — a change in opinion that he attributed to surprisingly strong support among some wireless carriers.

"Preliminary results from our quarterly handset survey indicate developed market carriers have a much more positive view of BB10 than we expected," Misek said in a research note.

"With greater carrier shelf space and marketing support, we now believe BB10 has a 20 per cent to 30 per cent probability of success," he said.

He said consumer demand will be the "ultimate determinate" for the Waterloo, Ont., smartphone maker.

Misek also said he was "a bit puzzled" by the carriers' more positive outlook on BB10, given that RIM's new operating system is two years late and the company's market share has plunged to five per cent from 20 per cent.

"Our theory is that carriers see BB10 as one of their last chances to avoid being locked into a long-term smartphone OS duopoly," he said, referring to Apple and Android operating systems.

But after trying BB10, its web browsing is as good or "potentially superior" to Android smartphones but a "little inferior" to Apple's new iPhone 5, Misek said in an interview with the BNN business television channel.

RIM will also have to compete with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 smartphone operating system.

BlackBerry smartphones have often been criticized by analysts for not providing an easy-to-use web browsing experience.

"They have got to compete against Apple, Google and Microsoft. These are not small competitors," Misek told BNN.

He said the success of RIM's BB10 smartphones won't be known until early May when sales numbers come in.

Misek says in his research note that he has raised his target price for RIM to $10 from $5, and raised his rating on the stock to hold from underperform.

Shares in Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) closed up 11 cents to $9.70 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

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  • Blackberry PlayBook Flops, Prices Slashed

    The PlayBook tablet, which was the BlackBerry maker's answer to the iPad, went on sale in April 2011. Since then, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/03/blackberry-playbook-price-rim_n_1181167.html" target="_hplink">RIM has lost $485 million</a> on unsold units. At the beginning of January, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/03/blackberry-playbook-price-rim_n_1181167.html" target="_hplink">RIM slashed the price of all models</a> of its tablet to $299. The special pricing will last until February 4. PlayBooks, which come in 16, 32 and 64 gigabyte models, typically retail for $499, $599 and $699, respectively, <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57351162-92/blackberry-playbook-price-now-$299-for-all-models/" target="_hplink">according to CNET</a>. In November, RIM temporarily <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/22/blackberry-playbook-price-drop_n_1107941.html" target="_hplink">slashed the price</a> of the 16GB version of the tablet to $199 at certain retail locations.

  • Network Outages

    In October, BlackBerry <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/13/blackberry-outage-2011-rim-says-services-returning_n_1008596.html" target="_hplink">suffered an outage that affected</a> many of its then 70-million worldwide users, leaving some of its customers in Asia, Europe, Latin American and Africa without service for as many as three days. Some users in the U.S. were affected, but not for as long a period.

  • Drunk Execs Disrupt International Flight

    In December, two RIM executives were fired after a flight they were on was forced to be diverted because the pair's "drunken rowdiness," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/02/two-men-face-hefty-fine-a_0_n_1125214.html" target="_hplink">the AP reports</a>.

  • BlackBerry 10 Platform Delayed

    Research in Motion announced in December 2011 that its highly anticipated BlackBerry 10 platform won't be available until the end of 2012. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/16/blackberry-10-phones-rim_n_1153314.html" target="_hplink">According to the AP</a>, the company claims the holdup is because the chipset needed for the phones running the platform won't be available until the middle of this year.

  • Stock Slides In 2011

    In 2011, <a href="http://www.dailyfinance.com/quote/nasdaq/research-in-motion-limited-usa/rimm" target="_hplink">RIM's stock</a> dropped <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/23/rim-ceos-jim-balsillie-mike-lazaridis_n_1222605.html#s629929&title=Lessien" target="_hplink">a massive 75 percent</a>.

  • Falling U.S. Market Share

    In less than a year, RIM's share of the U.S. smartphone market <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/23/rim-ceos-jim-balsillie-mike-lazaridis_n_1222605.html#s629929&title=Lessien" target="_hplink">dropped by almost 50 percent</a>, from <a href="http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/3/comScore_Reports_January_2011_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share" target="_hplink">30.4 percent</a> in January 2011 to <a href="http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/12/comScore_Reports_November_2011_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share" target="_hplink">16.6 percent</a> in November 2011. In 2009, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/16/blackberry-10-phones-rim_n_1153314.html" target="_hplink">RIM controlled 44 percent</a> of the US smartphone market. (Pictured above is the HTC Desire HD Android, which runs on Google's much more popular Android platform.)

  • Investors Urge Company Sell Itself

    A nearly 75 percent drop in stock price in 2011 did not please investors. At the end of 2011, Jaguar Financial Corp, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/01/03/balsillie-lazaridis-rim-research-in-motion-jaguar-financial_n_1180885.html" target="_hplink">one of the largest investors</a> in RIM, called "for substantial corporate governance change and for a sale of RIM, whether as a whole or as separate parts." Vic Alboini, the chief executive of Jaguar Financial, <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16393180" target="_hplink">told the BBC earlier this month</a> that RIM has "lost it." "The party is over, we believe, in terms of trying to design that cool, tech savvy smartphone," he said. "Microsoft has over $50 billion in cash, RIM has $1.5 billion. There is no way they'll be able to compete."

  • Exploding BlackBerry

    The family of 11-year-old Kian McCreath of Coventry, U.K., gave RIM some of its worst publicity in 2012, telling the media the boy was burned and left with permanent scarring when his BlackBerry Curve 9320 exploded. Although cell phones that are left to charge too long are known to explode, for RIM the news represented a horrible publicity disaster that came just weeks ahead of the launch of its BlackBerry 10.


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  • BlackBerry 10 First Look

    In email, when you select a message, it swoops in from the side.

  • BlackBerry 10 Preview

    A look at the "Glance" view on attachments in email.

  • BlackBerry 10 Preview

    A look at the new touchscreen keyboard, with predictions of what word you are going to type next. Hold down the letter and swipe up briefly to choose that word.

  • BlackBerry 10 Preview

    Another look at the predictive keyboard.

  • BlackBerry 10 Preview

    The phone call screen. Swipe up to dismiss, down to answer.

  • BlackBerry 10 Preview

    The phone call screen.