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BlackBerry 10 Launch Official: January 13, 2013

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 5:38am
Andrew Berg

Research In Motion on Monday said it will hold a BlackBerry 10 launch event on Jan. 30, 2013.

The event will happen simultaneously in multiple countries around the world. 

Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of RIM, said in a statement that his team has been working "tirelessly" to bring the new devices to market, in an effort to better compete with the likes of Apple's iPhone and the myriad Android devices on the market.

“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," Heins said.

RIM's new BlackBerry 10 devices are designed around a user interface called "BlackBerry Flow," which allows navigation across all open applications, as well as the "BlackBerry Hub," where users can see all their messages, notifications, feeds and calendar events.

RIM hopes a polished, touch-based smartphone experience will help it regain some of the market share it has lost to Apple and Android recently.

The company has also put considerable effort into refining its keyboard experience, which will be key to retaining core BlackBerry users. RIM boasts that the new BlackBerry keyboard will adapt to how users type, so they can write faster and more accurately.

While still a few months out, the actual setting of a launch date for BlackBerry 10 is at least a small step in the right direction for a company that has seen its share of struggles recently. RIM's BlackBerry 10 products have been delayed multiple times.

Investors have grown weary in light of the many setbacks along the road to reinventing BlackBerry. As recently as February of 2011, shares of RIM were trading at $70, in stark contrast to the $8.76 per share the company was commanding as of this morning. 

Still, RIM isn't quite dead yet. Shares of the company surged in the wake of news last month that it had actually increased its subscriber base. While the company reported a loss of $235 million compared to a profit of $419 million in the same quarter last year, RIM's subscriber base grew to 80 million, up sequentially from 78 million.

BlackBerry currently controls just 4.3 percent of the global smartphone market, down from 9.5 percent a year earlier, according to research firm IDC. Android now owns 75 percent of the smartphone market, while Apple took a 15 percent slice of the pie in the third quarter. 

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