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BlackBerry 10 Launches January 30, Developers Get Cash Offer

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Research in Motion (RIM) today announced that the company is planning to release BlackBerry 10 during a launch event scheduled for early next year.

On January 30, 2013, RIM will roll out BlackBerry 10 along with the first two smartphones powered by the mobile operating system. The news comes after the company announced last week that the OS had attained FIPS 140-2 certification prior to launch, setting the stage for adoption among government agencies and organizations that place a premium on high security.

But will government agencies, and more crucially, enterprises bite?

Once the king of enterprise mobility, RIM has seen its share of the market plummet in recent years. A steady stream of underwhelming devices and an ill-fated stab at the tablet market have failed to gain traction with buyers. Intense competition from Apple iOS and Google’s Android OS has also taken its toll on RIM.

Last quarter, mobile phone makers shipped 179.7 million smartphones, a 45.2 percent increase compared to the same year-ago period, according to research from IDC. While Samsung and Apple enjoy brisk smartphone sales, RIM continues its downward slide.

RIM shipped 7.7 million BlackBerry smartphones in 3Q12 for 4.3 percent of the market, according to IDC’s figures. During the same period in 2011, the company shipped 11.8 million units and accounted for 9.6 percent of the market.

The embattled smartphone maker is clearly banking on BlackBerry 10 to reverse its flagging fortunes. And in an effort to make that happen, the company is courting not only carriers, but also the undisputed rainmakers of the app store era: developers.

“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. We are looking forward to getting BlackBerry 10 in the hands of our customers around the world,” said RIM CEO Thorsten Heins in a statement.

Currently, BlackBerry 10 smartphones are being tested in over 50 carrier labs, according to the company. On the developer front, the company is hoping to build momentum by dangling the lure of cold hard cash.

During the BlackBerry Jam event in May, the company unveiled a $10,000 bounty for developers of certified apps. Under the program, developers whose apps earn at least $1,000 but less than $10,000 in the first year will receive a check for the difference from RIM.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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