Research in Motion sets BlackBerry 10 launch date

November 12, 2012

Research in Motion will release its new operating system, BlackBerry 10, on January 30th, the company announced Monday.

The company promised that two new smartphones will be announced alongside the platform, signaling the company’s eagerness to roll out the new system as quickly as possible.

BlackBerry 10, which has faced a couple rounds of delays, is vitally important to the company as it tries to gain traction in the smartphone market against competitors such as Apple and Samsung.

The company has already shown many of the operating system’s unique features, including a redesigned user interface and more multimedia capabilities to keep pace with smartphones on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms, which have a strong hold on the market.

“Our team has been working tirelessly to bring our customers innovative features combined with a best in class browser, a rich application ecosystem, and cutting-edge multimedia capabilities,” said BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins in a statement Monday. “All of this will be integrated into a user experience – the BlackBerry Flow – that is unlike any smartphone on the market today.”

One possible point in RIM’s favor is that BlackBerry phones still retain their popularity outside of North America. The Candian-based smartphone maker, in a nod to its strongest customer bases, will be launching its new system in all of its global markets at once. The company has also moved quickly to shore up its base with the U.S. government, getting security certification that will allow government employees to pick up a BlackBerry 10 as soon as it is available, the company said.

But RIM has a long road ahead of it. Its chief competition comes from Microsoft, which recently launched a new smartphone platform of its own with an eye on core BlackBerry business consumers. Both are expected to will fight fiercely for the number-three spot in marketshare behind iOS and Android in the coming year.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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