Carriers are set to begin receiving nearly complete versions of Research In Motion’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices as early as next week. RIM will embark on a five-week roadshow to showcase beta versions of two smartphones to carriers across the world.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins reaffirmed an early 2013 rollout date for BlackBerry 10. He explained that the hardware design of the upcoming devices is complete and that the software itself is nearly ready. The first all-touch model will be very similar to the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device that RIM has been providing to developers over the past few months. “We’re near the finishing line,” Heins added.
The all-touch model will launch first with the second to follow about 4 to 6 weeks later. While no specific carriers have been confirmed yet, “major carriers” in the US (and likely Canada) are expected to be onboard.
RIM will lead off with two devices, an all-touch model and one offering both a physical QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen (the rumoured L- and N-series?). Eventually, RIM will offer six smartphones, three all-touch designs and three with physical keyboards.
Heins also revealed that BlackBerry 10 devices will come with replaceable batteries.