The first smartphone running RIM’s next-generation operating system has hit an important milestone: it is now being tested by dozens of telecoms.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said today, “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.”
The main reason for this statement is to reassure potential buyers of the next BlackBerry — as well as RIM’s investors — that the device is on track for release early next year. This isn’t something that can be taken for granted, as the product was originally scheduled to be on the market about 9 months ago.
RIM’s next handset will be the first running BlackBerry 10, a new operating system designed to go head-to-head with Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. RIM has been struggling lately, and BlackBerry 10 is vital for the company’s survival
Little is known at this point about the hardware of this first model, aside from the fact that the device will have a large, 1280 x 768 touchscreen but no physical keyboard. This will be followed later by one that has a smaller screen and physical keyboard. Leaked images of both are at right.