Research in Motion has finally announced an official launch date for the upcoming BlackBerry 10 smartphones. The January 30, 2013 launch event will kick off what is likely to be RIM’s sink or swim moment, as former customers have been quick to move to more popular and publicised offerings including iOS and Android devices.
The launch of the handsets was originally set for late this year but in June RIM announced a delay until 2013, meaning that it will miss the crucial holiday period.
With the launch now set for January analysts expect that the phones will be released at some point between mid-February and March. Two different models will be unveiled, a full touch-screen device that will be released first, followed by another with a physical keyboard, a feature that has long been a staple of BlackBerry handsets.
As the company attempts to reclaim their share of the mobile phone market, which has been shrinking in recent years, RIM recognises that it has an uphill climb ahead. In the early 2000’s BlackBerry was a brand synonymous with business and professionalism, and its innovative and secure way of handling emails made for one of its most appealing features. In the following years it slowly lost that image, as BBM attracted a younger audience, though as other smartphones gained popularity BlackBerry’s archaic approach to the market failed to keep up, alienating many from both the professional and younger camps along the way.
Aside from the upcoming hardware BlackBerry 10 represents the new operating system that the phones will use, altogether revamping the brand and serving as RIM’s biggest push to take back what was once theirs. Hopefully the company hits the target this time.