RIM launching BlackBerry 10, new smartphones on Jan. 30


Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) will unveil its overhauled BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system on Jan. 30.

RIM is planning BlackBerry 10 launch events in multiple international markets. The manufacturer said it will introduce two new smartphones running the revamped OS, promising to detail full technical specifications and operator availability at each event.

RIM first announced BlackBerry 10 last spring. Devices running the new OS were expected in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season, but in late June, RIM delayed its launch until early 2013. RIM recently revealed that more than 50 operator partners are lab testing the new platform--in addition, BlackBerry 10 recently earned IPS 140-2 certification, which means that government agencies will be able to deploy devices running the OS as soon as it is available. RIM noted this is the first time BlackBerry products have been certified ahead of launch. 

BlackBerry 10 will run on the same QNX-based software powering RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Features include the new BlackBerry Flow user interface highlighted by BlackBerry Hub, which enables simplified access to all messages, notifications, feeds and calendar events. BlackBerry 10 also boasts BlackBerry Balance, which separates personal applications and information from encrypted work profiles, enabling organizations to protect their data while giving users the flexibility to optimize their devices for personal use.

RIM is betting on BlackBerry 10 to reignite developer passion for its platform. According to a recent survey conducted by Appcelerator and research firm IDC, just 9 percent of respondents said they are very interested in writing BlackBerry apps, an all-time low. Forty percent of developers expressed strong interest in BlackBerry as recently as the first quarter of 2011, underlining the operating system's fall from grace. In comparison, 85 percent of respondents are very interested in building apps for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, and 83 percent express comparable enthusiasm for creating apps optimized for the iPad tablet.

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