Thorsten Heins, Chief Executive of RIM, said in a statement on Wednesday that more than 50 carriers, mostly in North America, have started testing BlackBerry 10 ahead of the platform’s expected release date. That release date may fall sometime in the first quarter of 2013, and carrier testing means there’s a good chance Q1 2013 will indeed be the time for BB10.
There may be more carriers added to the list of 50, according to Heins. He mentioned plans of presenting BlackBerry 10 to carriers in Asia, Europe and Africa, and not just American and Canadian mobile service providers.
The 50 carriers Heins had stated are testing BlackBerry 10 in the “lab entry” stage; this is a process that could take a few weeks to complete, as confirmed by Heins.
RIM most probably has its future mortgaged on the success of BlackBerry 10. A lukewarm debut from the new platform and the devices that will run on it might be a sign of RIM’s imminent end, although company officials have long denied that the company is on its way out of business. RIM will have to get more than just carrier buy-in to ensure its continued operations in 2013 going forward; getting buy-in from consumers will inevitably be more important as we move closer to the launch of BlackBerry 10.