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Blackberry 10 Release Date Set for January

RIM is readying the release of the Blackberry 10 and hopes to have it out by January 2013.

The company also is banking on the device to return some of its market share that it recently lost to Android and Apple.

"My expectation is that in some countries we will be launching in [January]," said Frank Boulben, RIM's new chief marketing officer in an interview today before the company's annual shareholder meeting near its headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario. "Will it be three continents or five, five countries or 10? I don't know the specifics yet, but it will be multiple countries on multiple continents."

RIM has fallen behind in terms of sales in the smartphone market. Apple's iPhone, along with all devices running Google's Android platform took away half of RIM's market share in the first quarter of this year.

The company's share has fallen to 6.4 percent, while Android holds 59 percent, and Apple has 23 percent.

Boulben feels that releasing the device is January will help propel the Blackberry 10 to success since it will not have to compete with a slew of smartphone releases during the holiday shopping season.

However, he could not guarantee that date, since the testing for the device could take more time.

"The testing process of our carrier partners can take up to 10, 12 weeks, so we are dependent on them," he said.

The Blackberry 10 was originally scheduled to launch in the spring of last year, but was delayed twice, with RIM eventually announcing that it would not be released until 2013.

The device seems like it could be RIM's ace-in-the-hole. However, the design that was previewed by the company cuts out the Blackberry's most treasured asset: the physical keyboard.

Could the company release an all touch device capable of competing with Android and Apple? The Blackberry 10 seems like its last chance to do so.

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