Brightstar and Research In Motion announced that they have expanded their existing distribution relationship, launching a dedicated program to increase availability of BlackBerry smartphones in Verizon Wireless indirect channels.

R. Marcelo Claure, Brightstar’s president & CEO, said “RIM is a phenomenal success story and their smartphones are in high demand by our customers and by consumers. RIM has tapped Brightstar to help increase access to their extremely popular products, strengthening their distribution strategy and improving their speed to market.”

The new channel program launched by Brightstar delivers innovative marketing, sales, inventory management and credit management programs to national retailers and local agents of Verizon Wireless, one of the nation’s leading wireless carriers serving over 67 million customers. The program will help bring BlackBerry smartphones to thousands of additional indirect points of sale faster, to better meet the high demand for BlackBerry products by consumers throughout the U.S.

Agents and retailers expressed excitement about the new program. “BlackBerry smartphone sales are the fastest growing opportunity for our business, and with those devices now being a part of the overall product portfolio at Brightstar, we will have better access and unmatched support for our BlackBerry sales,” said Kevin Elder, president and CEO of Go Wireless, a major Verizon Wireless indirect agent.

This latest program builds on the significant success the two companies have achieved working together since 2005. To date, Brightstar and RIM have increased availability and penetration of BlackBerry smartphones serving both network operators and independent agents. Among the regions Brightstar currently supports on behalf of RIM are Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S.

Mark Guibert, vice president, corporate marketing at Research In Motion said, “Brightstar and RIM have a successful history of working together to expand the reach of BlackBerry smartphones. Brightstar’s excellent customer relationships and logistical efficiencies have been of great benefit to RIM.”

Brightstar is also an authorized distributor of BlackBerry Authentic Accessories throughout the Americas. In Latin America and the Caribbean, Brightstar helps bring BlackBerry smartphones to 65 network operators in 36 countries, streamlining the supply chain and delivery of BlackBerry products.