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RIM to release new BlackBerry's soon after Jan. 30

Rob Gillies, Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) -- A senior executive at Research In Motion says its much-delayed BlackBerry 10 smartphones will be released "not too long" after an official launch event on Jan. 30.

Chief Operating Officer Kristian Tear said in an interview Tuesday they are fine-tuning the new phones.

The new phones are seen as critical to RIM's survival.

On Monday, RIM said details on the BlackBerry 10, including specific availability, will be announced at the event. A full touch-screen device is expected to be released first followed shortly after by a physical keyboard version.

RIM, a Canadian company that pioneered the smartphone, is struggling in North America to hold onto customers who are abandoning BlackBerrys for flashier iPhones and Android phones.

Tear says the want to be the No. 1 mobile computing platform.