Walmart locations in Canada will sell BlackBerry 10 devices following RIM’s much anticipated Jan. 30 press event. That’s a huge boon for the ailing Waterloo-based company, and a nice big step toward getting the word out to more consumers. Details for Walmart locations in the U.S. to carry BB10 handsets are still being hashed out.
Imagine consumers cruising for goods at Walmart and suddenly stumbling across RIM’s shiny new Thing. If anything else—assuming the presentation is right—potential buyers will know about BB10, which is good for longterm mindshare. Research In Motion can win over media plaudits all it wants, but if consumers aren’t convinced, it could mean the doldrums.
It makes sense RIM would work deals out on its home turf first, where anticipation is highest. Making devices more accessible and available to play with should do well to convince those skeptical on BB10’s chances, and maybe even turn some staunch Android and iPhone supports. Of course, whichever BB10 devices are on sale at Walmart will be sharing shelf space with companies such as Apple, Samsung and Nokia, so just because RIM has home field advantage doesn’t make it the automatic choice.
Our interest in BlackBerry 10 has been renewed since taking the new OS for a spin. Will consumers be just as convinced? Not long until we find out.