By Khurram Aziz | Nov 14, 2012 09:13 AM EST
RIM is says it will launch its long awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system on January 10, 2013.
The Canadian smartphone company is hoping the redesigned OS will save it from rapid decline as the one-time market leader struggles to compete with the likes of Apple, Google and Microsoft.
In a press release, the company said BlackBerry 10, like its iOS and Android counterparts, will offer a large catalog of 'apps' for games, productivity, social, lifestyle and leisure, multimedia and published content, as well as applications designed for business and enterprise use.
"In building BlackBerry 10, we set out to create a truly unique mobile computing experience that constantly adapts to your needs," said RIM president Thorsten Heins. "Our team has been working tirelessly to bring our customers innovative features combined with a best in class browser, a rich application ecosystem, and cutting-edge multimedia capabilities. All of this will be integrated into a user experience - the BlackBerry Flow - that is unlike any smartphone on the market today."
News of the impending OS upgrade has buoyed investors, leading to a 5.5% jump in RIM's share price.
BlackBerry 10 was planned for 2012, but delays pushed back the launch until 2013.
The OS is a new direction for the flailing BlackBerry brand, which has been optimized for both the touchscreen and full QWERTY keyboard experience.
RIM's early BlackBerry products were considered pioneering devices due to their email capabilities and strong security, and included the popular BlackBerry Messenger, known to many as BBM.
However, smartphones from the likes of Apple, Samsung and HTC has seen the BlackBerry lose market share, as it struggled to adapt to the app-dominated ecosystem of the new mobile operating systems.
Over the last four years, the company's share price has dropped by 90%, and was made worse by a global outage of its BBM service earlier this year.
RIM is hoping that the remodeled BlackBerry 10 will change its fortunes.
The OS is being launched with two new devices, one touchscreen and one with a keyboard popular with BlackBerry users, although the company did not say when the devices will be available in stores.
But success isn't guaranteed. For the most part, RIM has focused on the business and enterprise market for its devices, and left the consumer market to Apple and manufacturers using Google Android to carve up.
However, Microsoft, with the launch of Windows Phone 8, is encroaching directly on RIM's space.
Its OS, found in Nokia's latest Lumia phones, integrates tightly with the desktop version of Windows, which could make it that much more tempting for the corporate world looking to move seamlessly between Office applications, and away from the BlackBerry.
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