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RIM is taking two BlackBerry 10 beta units on tour soon for carrier previews

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As the world awaits the arrival of BlackBerry 10 hardware, the Wall Street Journal has a report from RIM CEO Thorsten Heins that the company is ready to start showing off the "nearly complete" devices to carriers next week. Separately, CrackBerry has heard the same from its sources, along with word that more internal employees are becoming a part of the beta test group (already plugging away since May on alpha dev units like the one shown above) as well. As RIM is preparing to ramp up production of test devices, the CEO was also ready to confirm more details about the hardware, including that two devices are due at launch -- one all-touchscreen and one QWERTY / touchscreen combo -- with plans to expand to six models evenly split between the two options, and that it will stick with removable batteries.

Before RIM tries to convince end users early next year that its new OS was worth the wait, it will have to persuade potential carrier partners. Fortunately, if you believe one unnamed WSJ source, it's already showing a "marked improvement" over existing phones that makes BlackBerry more competitive with Android. We're not sure if that will keep BBM addicts on the hook until new hardware launches, but with the roadshow about to commence we should hear more concrete details soon.

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