RIM is still on track to release BlackBerry 10 early next year. The mobile OS needs to be a hit, or RIM won't be around for much longer. We won't know the consumer reaction to the new BlackBerry handsets until early next year, but RIM says that carriers are already excited.
In a statement sent to CNET, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said that BlackBerry is now in testing at more than 50 carriers. The response to the OS and the hardware has apparently been good. Heins said that carriers are "excited about the prospect of launching BlackBerry 10 in their markets."
Heins is right when he says that this is an important step. It at least confirms that BlackBerry 10 is on schedule to launch in Q1 2013. It would be disastrous for the company if the launch was delayed. Getting into the testing period this early also allows RIM to make sure everything is perfect by launch. Another global outage of the BlackBerry network would not look good.
Much like what Microsoft is trying to do with Windows Phone 8, RIM is trying to capture the consumer market with BlackBerry 10. That's not to say it's ignoring the enterprise market entirely though. It's just that RIM is losing major enterprise customers everyday as more companies make the move to iOS, Android and even Windows Phone 8. The consumer market may be the only hope that RIM has going forward.
All is not lost though. Heins makes a note that the BlackBerry enterprise teams are now presenting BlackBerry 10 devices to its business partners. The company may yet be able to get back in the game, especially if Windows Phone 8 bombs.