January 10, 2013, 9:07 PM — Research in Motion is at CES this week talking up BlackBerry 10, the company's smartphone refresh set to debut January 30. Despite five years of floundering behind Apple's iPhone and Google Android devices, RIM is generating interest in BlackBerry 10 with a slick, touch-centric smartphone OS with interesting features such as an adaptive keyboard and WebOS-like interface.
Many critics and analysts see BB10 as RIM's last chance to maintain relevance in the smartphone world. Once the top smartphone maker in the U.S., RIM's current market share has slipped to just 7.3% of American smartphone users, according to metrics firm comScore. That's a loss of 9.3 percentage points from November 2011, when comScore reported the company had 16.6% of the U.S. market. RIM in December also said that for the first time in its history the company lost one million users in a single quarter.
But the gloom and doom of RIM's recent years may soon be behind it if the BlackBerry 10 rollout is a success later in January. It's not yet clear when new BlackBerry devices will become available, how much they will cost, or which carriers will offer them, but that should all become clear on January 30. Until then, here's a look at some of things RIM has been talking about at CES and what you should know before the BlackBerry 10 launch event.
Six handsets slated for 2013
We already know that RIM on January 30 will unveil the first two smartphones built for BB10: one touchscreen and one physical keyboard device. Later in the year, RIM has another four BB10 devices planned, reports Fierce Wireless after speaking with the company's chief marketing officer, Frank Boulben, at CES. It's not yet clear what the specs will be for the upcoming BB10 devices.
What BlackBerry 10 can do