BlackBerry 10 Enters Operator Testing Phase

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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CEO Thorsten Heins says new RIM operating system is on track for Q1 2013

RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins has confirmed that the company has begun testing BlackBerry 10 with more than 50 mobile operators.

The perpetually-delayed mobile operating system is due to be released in the first quarter of 2013 and there could be as many as six smartphones running the software released next year.

Thorsten Heins RIM Blackberry leadBlackBerry 10 is seen as vital to RIM’s hopes of a recovery, having seen its share in the smartphone market slide in recent years in the face of competition from rivals such as iOS and Android. Heins called the start of testing “a critical milestone” and remains confident that the platform can revive RIM’s fortunes.

BlackBerry 10 testing

“In the last week, BlackBerry 10 achieved Lab Entry with more than 50 carriers – a key step in our preparedness for the launch of BlackBerry 10 in the first quarter of 2013,” he said. “This process will continue in the coming months as more carriers around the world formally evaluate the devices and our brand new software.”

Heins said that operators were “excited about the prospect” of launching BlackBerry 10 and that RIM’s attentions were focussed on ensuring that it is a success. RIM released a prototype device to developers in March in help them create applications for the platform.

“The hard work will not stop here as we build towards launch,” he promised. “Our developer teams are continuing to generate momentum to bring a wealth of applications to BlackBerry 10, our enterprise teams have started to present BlackBerry 10 devices and services to our business customers, and our engineers are fully mobilized to ensure that BlackBerry 10 launches flawlessly in the first quarter of 2013.”

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