UPDATE 2-New RIM platform clears US security, challenges remain
(Adds analyst comments, updates share prices)
By Euan Rocha
TORONTO Nov 8 (Reuters) - Research In Motion Ltd said on Thursday it has won much-coveted U.S. government security clearance for its BlackBerry 10 devices which are due to hit store shelves in the first quarter of 2013.
The company said the new enterprise management platform has received certification that would allow government agencies to deploy the new smartphones as soon as they are launched.
But RIM must still convince the agencies to stick with its security-focused smartphones and deploy the new BB10 devices, which will come in keyboard and touchscreen models. Some agencies are already looking at alternative providers, eroding a market that RIM has dominated for years.
RIM pioneered mobile devices for email, but its fortunes faded as rivals like Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co came up with faster, snazzier devices.
RIM's stock and market share have slumped, and its fate is tied to the success of the new BB10 (BlackBerry 10) devices.
RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, said it was the first time a BlackBerry product had won Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certification ahead of launch.
Last month, RIM said it had begun carrier tests on the BB10 devices, which the company hopes will help it regain some of the market share it has lost to Apple's iPhone and devices that run on Google Inc's Android operating system. Continued...