First BlackBerry 10 smartphone to launch in October, reports say

Timing might give RIM a chance to set a better course

Reports indicate that the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone will be announced by mid-August and will be launched in October, somewhat earlier than expected.

An October launch would give Research in Motion several weeks' advantage with holiday sales, which are much needed by RIM, especially in North American markets.

The website N4BB.com reported the October launch on Wednesday, citing an unnamed source who claimed the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone would be touchscreen-only. That source said a BlackBerry 10 device with a physical Qwerty keyboard, possibly a slider style, will be released in the first quarter of 2013.

BGR.com noted Thursday that the October release conforms to its own earlier reporting for a BlackBerry 10 smartphone, code-named BlackBerry London, that would be launched in September or early October.

RIM didn't respond to a request to comment on the BlackBerry 10 smartphone release.

RIM's BlackBerry World conference starts next week, but analyst say RIM isn't likely to discuss specific release details beyond CEO Thorsten Heins' earlier statements that the BlackBerry 10 device would appear in the second half of 2012.

RIM's smartphone market share has slipped, in part because the smartphone maker has fallen behind on new smartphone releases.

Last year's RIM network outage and product delays have forced some IT managers to adopt new policies to allow smartphones on iOS and Android into their workplaces.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

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