After months and months of delays, it appears RIM's new mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10, is still on track to launch in early 2013.
In a statement, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said 50 mobile carriers are now testing BB10, a critical step before its release. Carriers must perform thorough testing on smartphones before they agree to sell.
Assuming all goes well in carrier testing, BB10 will hit its expected launch target of Q1 2013.
It's absolutely critical for RIM that BB10 is a hit. Heins and his team are essentially betting the company on the new OS.
Here's the full statement from Heins, which we found via Engadget:
I'm very pleased to confirm that we have passed a critical milestone in the development of our brand new mobile computing platform, BlackBerry 10. 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. We made this commitment during our recent results conference call and we have delivered. This process will continue in the coming months as more carriers around the world formally evaluate the devices and our brand new software.
I have spent the last several weeks on the road visiting with carrier partners around the world to show them the BlackBerry 10 platform and to share with them our plans for launch. Their response has been tremendous. They are excited about the prospect of launching BlackBerry 10 in their markets. Our respective teams are now engaged on the technical and commercial preparation of the launch of BlackBerry 10 and the lab entry is an important milestone in that context.
The hard work will not stop here as we build towards launch. 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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