It’s calm in BlackBerry land, but we know this is the buildup to something big. RIM is seemingly putting its head down and charging towards the eventual BlackBerry 10 launch, the platform that will almost certainly make or break the company. We might get another news surge when RIM announces its quarterly results later this month, but there probably wont be much of interest there. Again, the focus is on BlackBerry 10. With that in mind, it appears RIM will get a break with its US distribution. According to a line buried in this CNET article, America’s largest wireless carrier will indeed carry a BlackBerry 10 handset at launch. The article was all about how Verizon will carry Windows Phone 8 handsets in the fourth quarter this year. That could be bad news for RIM; by most accounts Windows Phone 8 is a high-quality platform that could actually compete. Then again, we heard the same thing about Windows Phone 7, so we can safely wait until release to level judgement. Still, a competitor getting its product first, particularly ahead of the holiday season, is a win for them and a loss for RIM. But getting its phones in with Verizon is big, since Verizon has more subscribers than any other carrier. It wasn’t long ago that Verizon and RIM got along buddy-buddy like. Verizon was a bit smaller then, and AT&T, its biggest competitor, had exclusive rights to the iPhone. And so Verizon worked with RIM until Android came along with a glitzier product. Chances are they won’t rekindle their previously cozy relationship, but getting a foot in the door is the big accomplishment here. The bigger pictures involves Verizon CMO Tami Erwin’s comments about wanting to offer more varieties of smartphones. Clearly they’d like to have as many viable platforms as possible. Having fewer platforms available means the platform owners can call the shots. That is, when all people want is the iPhone, Apple has all the power. But if people are ambivalent about whether they get an Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry, then the carriers have the power. It will be interesting to see if the smartphone market changes significantly in 2013, with both Microsoft and RIM making big pushes. It could be a boon for consumers if they find success against iPhone and Android. But will consumers make that choice?