With most of the main business at CES 2013 now out of the way, the next big day for the mobile industry is January 30, when RIM is at long last set to unveil its new BlackBerry 10 OS and the initial pair of handsets that will bring it to the world.
But what about after that? Well, as luck would have it RIM CMO Frank Boulben has been talking about just that, and has revealed that we can expect at least six BB10 handsets over the course of 2013.
Boulben has been talking up RIM's future at CES 2013 this week, keen to keep the company in the spotlight despite the fact that RIM has nothing to show at the trade show and doesn't even have its own stand.
Speaking to Fierce Wireless, Boulben said more than 150 carriers around the globe are currently testing BlackBerry 10 devices ahead of the big launch event at the end of the month, which will see a full touch device and a QWERTY keyboard launch to carry the company's hopes further into the year.
That will just be the start, however, and Boulben reckons we're looking at a minimum of another four BlackBerry handsets emerging over the course of the year, with RIM having ignored the lure of carrier exclusives to ensure as wide a reach as possible.
RIM remains defiantly bullish about BlackBerry 10's chances, with Boulben pointing out that the company has an existing subscriber of 79 million, and is getting good feedback from networks testing the BB10 BlackBerrys. “They very much believe that we can be the third platform,” he claims.
Aside from the fact that they were unlikely to say anything else, and that Boulben would never tell us if they had, RIM has every reason to be optimistic. Windows Phone is gradually building its customer base, but probably not as quickly as Microsoft was hoping – and RIM no doubt was fearing.
That doesn't mean RIM will do any better, of course, but less than a month from BB10's arrival things could be looking a lot worse.