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RIM's latest milestone: BlackBerry 10 now being tested by over 50 carriers

Not much is going to make us excited about the BlackBerry world until RIM's latest devices actually ship, but today's announcement from Thorsten Heins is certainly good news in that regard. Today, he revealed that BlackBerry 10 units are now in the testing labs of more than 50 carriers, a necessary milestone that suggests the first BlackBerry 10 devices are still on track for a Q1 2013 debut. Naturally, it's a shame that the company is going to miss the holiday season, but if you have a BlackBerry fan in your life, we suppose there's always room for an IOU in their stocking. In the meantime, you'll find the full statement from RIM's CEO after the break.

Statement from RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins

I'm very pleased to confirm that we have passed a critical milestone in the development of our brand new mobile computing platform, BlackBerry 10. In the last week, BlackBerry 10 achieved Lab Entry with more than 50 carriers - a key step in our preparedness for the launch of BlackBerry 10 in the first quarter of 2013. We made this commitment during our recent results conference call and we have delivered. This process will continue in the coming months as more carriers around the world formally evaluate the devices and our brand new software.

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. 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.