Troubled smartphone manufacturer RIM has confirmed that it has begun testing phones running its new Blackberry 10 mobile OS with more than 50 mobile operators around the world.
The testing means that the firm is on course to release devices running the OS as early as the quarter of 2013. The new OS is critical to RIM as it struggles to compete with the Apple iPhone, Google’s Android and a resurgent Microsoft with its Windows Phone 8.
In a statement, RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins said that he has visited mobile operators over the past several weeks to show them the new platform and to share its plans with them. He said the response had 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,” he said.
He said that the firm’s enterprise team had started to BlackBerry 10 devices and services to our business customers, and “our engineers are fully mobilised to ensure that BlackBerry 10 launches flawlessly in the first quarter of 2013.”
Blackberry has struggled against competitors in the smartphone market over the past few years and Blackberry 10 could be the last throw of the dice for the embattled company. The firm has also had to push back the release of the new OS from late 2012 to 2013.