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RIM Confirms BlackBerry 10 January Launch Date

Tickers in this article: RIMM GOOG AAPL

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Research In Motion(RIMM) confirmed that its much-delayed BlackBerry 10 technology will debut at a launch event on Jan. 30, 2013.

In a statement released early on Monday, the embattled Canadian handset maker announced that the event will happen simultaneously in multiple countries around the world. As well as marking the official launch of the new BlackBerry 10 platform, RIM will also unveil its first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

"Thanks to our strong partnerships with global carriers and a growing ecosystem of developers, we believe our customers will have the best experience possible with BlackBerry 10," said RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, in a statement. "We are looking forward to getting BlackBerry 10 in the hands of our customers around the world."

Details on the smartphones and their availability will be announced at the event, according to RIM.

RIM brandished a prototype of its next-generation BlackBerry smartphone, dubbed the Dev Alpha B, at its BlackBerry Jam event in September.

Key features of BlackBerry 10 include BlackBerry Flow, which allows "seamless navigation" across open applications, according to the Waterloo, Ontario-based firm. RIM is also making a song and dance about BlackBerry Hub, which consolidates messages, notifications, feeds, and calendar events. The Hub lets users access these services with a simple gesture, regardless of what they are doing with the device.

Other new features include BlackBerry Keyboard, which RIM's touting as a way to help users type faster and more accurately, and BlackBerry Balance, which keeps personal apps and information separate from work data.

There was heated debate about the potential impact of BlackBerry 10 during TheStreet's live blog of RIM's second-quarter results, with commenters clashing over whether the new OS can turn RIM's fortunes around.

Some 57.42% of respondents to TheStreet's recent poll on the subject said that RIM will find salvation in BlackBerry 10. Just over 33% of respondents believe that this is unlikely, noting that the company's problems are too big.

Slammed by fierce competition from Apple's(AAPL) iPhone and Google(GOOG) Android devices, and delayed product launches, RIM's shares have plunged more than 53% over the past 12 months.

RIM shares rose 4.1% to $8.89 in premarket trading on Monday.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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