BlackBerry 10 to be launched on January 30, RIM announces

The launch date of the long-awaited BlackBerry 10 will be on January 30 2013, Research in Motion has announced.

The launch event will occur “simultaneously in multiple countries around the world”, according to a BB blog, and will introduce both the device and the BlackBerry 10 platform.

“In building BlackBerry 10, we set out to create a truly unique mobile computing experience that constantly adapts to your needs,” said RIM CEO Thorsten Heins in a press release.

“Thanks to our strong partnerships with global carriers and a growing ecosystem of developers, we believe our customers will have the best experience possible with BlackBerry 10,” he added.

Plenty of features have been rumoured, such as a Siri lookalike, but features confirmed by BB include BlackBerry Flow, which allows seamless navigation through all apps, and BlackBerry Keyboard, a more intuitive keyboard interface.

The decision taken by the Canadian handset maker in June to move the release date of BB10 to the first quarter of 2013 because of testing issues attracted a fair deal of criticism – not least because the device’s release will miss the vital Christmas market.

Yet it’s unwise to have a device rushed out with features which are incomplete or don’t work – just ask Scott Forstall.

There have been plenty of column inches devoted to what RIM may or may not be doing with the upcoming platform since the delay.

Last month BlackBerry lifted the shutters on its BB10 app submission process, which tied in with BB’s ‘10k Developer Commitment’, which guarantees any BB10 dev who makes $1,000 on their app gets it rounded up to $10,000.

BlackBerry faced fierce claims that it was losing its developer community. In response, RIM Head of Developer Relations Alec Saunders stated in a blog post back in July entitled ‘Bleeding Developers? Far from it’ that he was “hearing again and again that developers are amazed by how easy it is to work with the BlackBerry 10 tools.”

Another recently announced BB10 feature appears to be aimed squarely at the enterprise sector. BlackBerry Balance allows users to switch from work to personal data with a single gesture.

Of course, RIM will hope that BB10 builds back some of the enterprise momentum ceded to Apple and Google in recent years. In October the company announced worldwide enterprise developer workshops, which are ongoing – the remaining workshops are in New York (13 Nov), Madrid (15 Nov), Mexico City (16 Nov) and Chicago (28 Nov).

Are you looking forward to the BB10 release? Let us know in the comments...

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