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By Vijaykumar Meti | February 11, 2013 1:45 AM PST

BlackBerry, the company which was formerly known as Research in Motion (RIM), could sell as many as 2.6 million new BB 10 smartphones this year and roughly 8 percent of Canadians are "almost certain" to buy one of the new BB10 smartphones, according to market research and polling firm, Forum Research Inc.

The Forum Research had conducted the poll just after BlackBerry launched the new device in the Canadian market. The firm asked about 1,091 Canadians, aged 18 and above, whether they would buy a new BB10 smartphone? About 8 percent of the respondents said that they were "almost certain" to buy one of the BB10 devices while 19 percent said they were "very likely" to buy one. The poll results suggest that BlackBerry might sell between 1.2 million and 2.6 million devices this year.

"This is an exciting result for Blackberry. The number of people interested in buying their smartphone is equal to or greater than Apple's total share of the entire personal computer market," said Forum Research President Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

The new BlackBerry device seems to be more popular among people aged 35 to 44 who earn $100,000 and more per year. The Forum Research said, "Almost no one in our sample claims to have bought" one of the BlackBerry 10 phones already, just one day after launch. About 64 percent of the respondents said they were "unlikely" to buy one.

On the other hand, Tom Astle of Byron Capital Market analyst has predicted that BlackBerry may sell up to 40 million of its new BB10 smartphones over the next year, the Globe and Mail has reported.

Astel suggested that the existing BlackBerry users in the emerging markets such as Indonesia, India, Venezuela and Nigeria would account for just 7 million units due to the higher price of these mobile phones. 

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