Telecom & Wireless

BlackBerry Staring Down Samsung’s Barrel

BlackBerry Z10
Source: Courtesy Research in Motion Ltd.
The wait is almost, nearly finally over for the U.S. launch of the latest smartphone from BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY), the touchscreen Z10. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) said today that the phone would be shipping to customers on March 22, and for those who can’t wait, pre-ordering begins tomorrow.

Samsung Electronics hasn’t been resting on its laurels, though, and the Korean firm will introduce its latest mobile phone on Thursday. Every expects the new Samsung phone to be called the Galaxy S IV (or S4 depending on where you look). Samsung may have scheduled its announcement to cast a shadow over the BlackBerry launch, and if the new Samsung device can delay purchases of the Z10 then Thursday’s launch will have done its work.

Samsung shipped more phones with the Android operating system from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) than any other device maker last year, although it still trails the iPhone from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) by about 17% in the market share sweepstakes. Samsung has already poached half of BlackBerry’s market share and anything it can do to keep the Canadian firm from gaining share back is worth a try.

Investors like what’s going on with BlackBerry, though. Shares are up about 12% at $14.59 in a 52-week range of $6.22 to $18.32.

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