RIM's BlackBerry 10 to launch Jan. 30

blackberry 10 heins
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said BlackBerry 10 will go on sale Jan. 30.

Research In Motion announced Monday that BlackBerry 10 will finally debut on Jan. 30, a year after the company's next-generation smartphones and software were slated to go on sale.

At launch events held across the world, RIM will unveil the first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones. It will also announce the devices' pricing, availability and other details about the software.

Shares of RIM (RIMM) rose more than 4% in early trading, because keeping to the latest schedule counts as good news for the Canadian smartphone maker these days.

RIM initially said its new BlackBerry 10 software and devices would be available at the beginning of 2012. The company first delayed that to the end of this year, and then again to the beginning of next year.

CEO Thorsten Heins said Monday that BlackBerry 10 will be worth the wait.

"Our team has been working tirelessly to bring our customers innovative features," said Heins in a statement. "We believe our customers will have the best experience possible with BlackBerry 10."

Related story: RIM's fate hangs on BlackBerry 10

RIM has made steady progress with the BlackBerry 10 launch over the past several weeks. The company said last week that the BlackBerry 10 platform was certified for use in government agencies -- still a stronghold for BlackBerry. That allows government agencies to deploy BlackBerry 10 smartphones as soon as they go on sale. RIM said this marks the first time BlackBerry products have been certified ahead of their launch.

Earlier this month, RIM announced that BlackBerry 10 was delivered to more than 50 carriers around the world for testing.

BlackBerry 10 will bring RIM's mobile software and phones into closer competition with Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG). The company has said BlackBerry 10 would run on a smaller number of devices with must-have smartphone features, including a much-improved camera, a modern Web browser and social networking integration. The software will allow customers to access e-mail with one swipe from any app, and it will automatically shift between personal and corporate modes.

But the BlackBerry 10 delays have hurt the brand, and many question marks remain.

BlackBerry still has a passionate team of developers, yet most new mobile software is being made for Apple's iPhone or Google's Android operating systems. BlackBerry 10 will run Android apps, but RIM is hoping that more companies will want to develop software that takes advantage of BlackBerry 10's particular specifications.

Corporate customers have also been increasingly willing to let employees work on phones of their choosing -- a phenomenon known as Bring Your Own Device. As BlackBerry's security and e-mail delivery capabilities have been nearly matched by Apple, Google and Microsoft (MSFT), corporate IT departments have opened their once restrictive gates.

Even government agencies have been dropping BlackBerry in favor of Apple. Since RIM has been so late in bringing competitive devices and software to the market, consumers have flocked to Apple, Samsung and other brands too.

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