RIM to launch BlackBerry 10 on Jan. 30

The operating system will be joined by two smartphones

Research In Motion will launch BlackBerry 10 and the two first smartphones based on the operating system on Jan. 30, the company said on Monday.

The event will happen simultaneously in multiple countries around the world, according to RIM. The operating system was originally due sometime before the end of the year.

There is no doubt that the new operating system and the related products will be very important for the future of the struggling smartphone vendor.

The company has seen its market share dwindle in during the last couple of year, and was the third largest smartphone vendor in the world with a 4.3 percent market share during the third quarter, down from 9.6 percent a year ago.

But by starting from the ground up with a touch-based user interface, the company thinks it can once again become competitive with Apple's iPhones and the Android camp led by Samsung Electronics.

Some key features of the upcoming new BlackBerry 10 have already been unveiled, including the BlackBerry Hub and Balance.

All messages, notifications, feeds, and calendar events are gathered in the Hub and no matter what users are doing with the device, they can access the Hub at any time with a simple gesture.

BlackBerry Balance allows users to switch between a personal and an enterprise part of the phone, which are separated down to the file level. At the recent BlackBerry Jam event in London it was one the features that impressed the audience the most.

BlackBerry 10 also recently got FIPS 140-2 certification. That means government agencies will be able to deploy BlackBerry 10 smartphones when they are launched. It's the first time BlackBerry products have been certified ahead of their launch, according to RIM.

Also, BlackBerry 10 smartphones have now entered more than 50 carrier labs for testing, with many more entries expected in the coming weeks.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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