RIM offers free BlackBerry 10 smartphone

New phone will be available to customers of new BlackBerry 10 online training program

Research in Motion Thursday introduced the BlackBerry 10 Ready Program to help prepare business customers for the launch of the next-generation OS on Jan. 30.

Participants in the program can get a free BlackBerry 10-based smartphone.

TIMETABLE: RIM plans to unveil BlackBerry 10 and two smartphones Jan. 30

The four-part program is also intended to prepare users for the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, the name RIM is using for the next generation of BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

RIM hasn't said when Service 10 will launch, although it is due about the time of the launch of the BlackBerry 10 and two new smartphones on Jan. 30.

The Ready Program consists of a webcast series and the BlackBerry 10 Ready Offer for the smartphone, RIM said.

The Ready Offer includes a free BlackBerry 10 smartphone for customers with technical support and advantage level, or higher, contracts with RIM, that's subject to completion of an online learning course.

More information on the Ready Program is available online.

The weekly webcasts will offer tips on the products included in the Jan. 30 launch. Online registration is required.

The last two of the program's four components will be offered in January.

RIM also said that customers will be able to trade up BlackBerry Enterprise Server licenses for more than a year, up to Dec. 31, 2013. The trade-up will be available with an online tool to be announced starting in January.

Also a set of services with be offered online in January and more details can be obtained by emailing RIM at: BB10EnterpriseServices@rim.com

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile/wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.

This story, "RIM offers free BlackBerry 10 smartphone" was originally published by Computerworld .

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