Research In Motion today said it will unveil its long-awaited BlackBerry 10 platform on Jan. 30 with the introduction of two new devices. The company said the event will take place “simultaneously in multiple countries” but declined to disclose exactly when handsets running the new operating system will be available.
Once the dominant player in the mobile enterprise, RIM’s odds of regaining its lost relevance grow longer by the day. The company will effectively sit on the sidelines this holiday season as Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone all vie for customers with compelling new handsets. RIM desperately needs to get BlackBerry 10 devices on store shelves in a hurry, and it will need to market them aggressively.
Even in the cutthroat world of smartphones, though, RIM still has a puncher’s chance. Its new platform is in testing with more than 50 carrier labs, and the mobile enterprise market is still substantially untapped. Apple has certainly made some inroads there, and Microsoft hopes to gain traction with Windows Phone 8, but if RIM can execute flawlessly — something that hasn’t happened in several years — it might reclaim the market that it once owned.