RIM’s BBX phones are ‘going to surprise people,’ investor says


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Research In Motion Inc. has had a tough year and is currently sitting with a stock price that values the company at a price less than the overall value of its assets.

But the upcoming BBX operating system, which will run on a new line of RIM’s BlackBerry tablets and smartphones, could be the company’s savior and return it to consumer and investor favor, a major RIM shareholder told the Bloomberg news service in an interview.


‘People think it’s a melting ice cube,’ Leon Cooperman told Bloomberg. ‘We think the new operating system is going to surprise people.’

But so far, neither Cooperman nor RIM have said exactly what will be so surprising in BBX, though RIM has said that its new line of BBX phones will focus more on touchscreens and less on physical keyboards, which have been a hardware trademark of BlackBerry phones thus far.

BBX, which is set to launch early next year, will also enable apps built for Google’s Android operating system to run on BlackBerry devices.

As a RIM investor, Cooperman is betting that RIM’s BBX plans pan out. He’s the hedge-fund manager and founder of Omega Advisors Inc., which bought a stake of about $28 million in RIM last quarter.

Omega Advisors manages about $5.4 billion in investor funds, according to a LinkedIn listing on the company.

After multiple product delays this year and an international three-day service outage, RIM’s stock price has fallen more than 68% this year and on Monday morning was trading at about $18.61 per share as the company has given up market share to Apple’s iPhone and phones that run Android.



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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles