Research In Motion has set Jan. 30, 2013, as the launch date for the new BlackBerry 10 enterprise mobile platform and devices as the company hopes to lure back enterprise users who have fled for Apple's iOS and Google's Android alternatives in recent years.
The BlackBerry 10 Launch date was announced Nov. 12 for the new operating system and for two new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, according to the company. The launch will happen simultaneously in multiple countries around the world.
"In building BlackBerry 10, we set out to create a truly unique mobile computing experience that constantly adapts to your needs," Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of RIM, said in a statement. "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."
For RIM, the release of the new OS and devices couldn't come quickly enough as the beleaguered company has been rapidly losing market share to Apple's iOS devices and Google's Android devices for some time. Part of the problem was that RIM just didn't keep up with innovations that enterprise users wanted in their devices, which let Apple and Android eat RIM's lunch.
An IDC study released Nov. 1 showed that Android was the operating system of choice on 136 million smartphones shipped around the world in the third quarter, which was 75 percent of the 181.1 million smartphones that shipped. That number is five times the 14.9 percent market share of Apple's iOS for the same period.
Compare that to RIM's BlackBerry, which shipped only 7.7 million smartphones in the quarter, according to IDC, and that shows just how tough things have been for what was once the gold standard in enterprise mobile device market share. The report showed remarkable progress for the four-year-old Android OS against competition that includes the widely popular Apple iOS, a drastically smaller BlackBerry market, Microsoft's multiple Windows Phone efforts and the rest of a straggling field.