Take heart BlackBerry faithful, the answer to your prayers may soon be upon us. RIM has sent out invitations to the launch event for its long-delayed next-generation operating system and supposed savior, BlackBerry 10.
The event, according to the invite, will take place on Jan. 30 in New York City, and will reportedly show off the company's new OS, as well as two new phones, one with a touch screen and one with a physical keyboard. Images have been cropping up online of a device purported to be the touch screen-enabled unit, and it looks a lot like the Dev Alpha unit we played with back at BlackBerry World in May and BlackBerry Jam Americas in September.
When we last saw BlackBerry 10, we were pleased with the operating system's BlackBerry Hub, which aggregates users' messages and social media alerts in one mailbox, as well as its touch-friendly predictive text keyboard, Time Shift camera and Blackberry Flow interface. Still, the operating system was clearly far from polished at the time.
RIM is banking on BlackBerry 10 to save it from total mobile irrelevancy. The one-time leader of the mobile market has taken a beating in recent years from the likes of Apple's iPhone and Android-based devices, and is now struggling to keep pace with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.
In September, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins went on record to say he was hopeful his company could become the No. 3 smartphone maker in the world. Hitting that mark means that BlackBerry 10 will have to be a truly intriguing operating system and that it's related devices will need to exceed the top smartphones on the market. Can RIM pull it off? We'll find out on Jan. 30.