Over 50 Carriers Testing BlackBerry 10, Q1 Launch Reiterated

Research In Motion has announced that more than 50 carriers are testing its BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system, as well as reiterating a launch for its two BlackBerry 10 smartphones during the first quarter of 2013.

Carriers are required to test the mobile platform and RIM's products before certifying it for use on their networks, which is a process titled "Lab Entry." The process can take up to several weeks and varies based on the carrier partner. It's mandatory for any smartphone, wireless equipment or mobile operating system to join a network.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has spent the last few weeks visiting carriers around the world in order to instill excitement for its forthcoming platform.

"I have spent the last several weeks on the road visiting with carrier partners around the world to show them the BlackBerry 10 platform and to share with them our plans for launch," he said. "Their response has been tremendous. They are excited about the prospect of launching BlackBerry 10 in their markets. Our respective teams are now engaged on the technical and commercial preparation of the launch of BlackBerry 10 and the lab entry is an important milestone in that context."

"The hard work will not stop here as we build towards launch. Our developer teams are continuing to generate momentum to bring a wealth of applications to BlackBerry 10, our enterprise teams have started to present BlackBerry 10 devices and services to our business customers, and our engineers are fully mobilized to ensure that BlackBerry 10 launches flawlessly in the first quarter of 2013."

Analysts had previously expected RIM to launch BlackBerry 10 in March 2013 as opposed to a release shortly after the new year.

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