RIM unveiled BB 10, initially known as BBX, in October 2011 as the new platform for both its smartphones and tablets, claiming that it would incorporate the best of the current BlackBerry platform and the best of the QNX platform that underpinned its Playbook tablet.
No launch date was given at the time and the company later announced, in December 2011, that products running the new OS would not be available until late 2012. Close RIM watcher Kris Thompson, an analyst with National Bank Financial in Canada, responded to the announcement by saying: "This delay is materially longer than expected, and will make a turnaround very difficult, in our view."
RIM now says that the first BB10 devices are expected to launch in the latter part of 2012. In the meantime, it is providing developers who attended the BlackBerry Jam developers' event this week with alpha devices on which they can test their apps.
The company claimed that "a number of key partners...have already confirmed their excitement for the upcoming launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform." Its press release contained endorsements from Endomondo, Gameloft, Mippin, Occipital, PixelMags, Poynt, Truphone and Wikitude.
Announcing BB10, Alec Saunders, RIM's vice president, developer relations and ecosystems development, said: "Developers building for BlackBerry 10 will be able to easily create the kind of cutting-edge apps that deliver truly engaging experiences and 'wow' customers, whether through integration with native features and other apps like BBM or by leveraging the new signature design elements of this new and powerful mobile computing platform."
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