BlackBerry Maker RIM Reveals BB10 Launch Date

BlackBerry Maker RIM Reveals BB10 Launch Date

The much-delayed launch date for the new BlackBerry has been announced by its makers, Research in Motion.

The Canadian company said it will hold a launch event for its BlackBerry 10 (BB10) smartphone on January 30.

RIM said it will reveal details on the day, but is expected to unveil both touchscreen and keyboard versions.

It will also herald the release of a new smartphone operating system, after early tests attracted positive comments from reviewers.

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

The makers hope the redesign will catapult it into class leader - a position it once held - through browser revamp and multimedia capabilities.

BlackBerry gained popularity with companies that sought high levels of email security compared to that offered by smartphones. BB10 has already passed tests for encryption quality.

Last September the RIM boss previewed some BB10 features, including the Flow operating system and the BlackBerry Balance.

With an increasing number of employees using personal devices for work - a phenomenon known as bring your own device (BYOD) - the Balance is expected to boost users ability to split corporate and personal apps.

"All of this will be integrated into a user experience - the BlackBerry Flow - that is unlike any smartphone on the market today," Mr Heins said.

"We believe our customers will have the best experience possible with BlackBerry 10."

Breaking the smartphone market has been seen by analysts as crucial to its ongoing survival.

The release comes as the company struggles to hold onto customers who increasingly have abandoned BlackBerrys for iPhones and Android phones.

The company has suffered further woes from a succession of top managerial departures.

RIM's share price has dropped from 68 cents each in 2008 to seven cents last September. In 2012 alone it has suffered three consecutive quarterly losses.

RIM hopes to lure would-be buyers through the redesigned touchscreen, internet browsing and apps.

The BB10 is expected to be launched with simultaneous events globally, first with a touchscreen ahead of a traditional keyboard layout.