RIM has reiterated that its new BlackBerry 10 operating system will debut in the first quarter of 2013, adding that more than 50 mobile networks across the globe have begun testing the OS. 

BlackBerry 10 was originally unveiled in May and was expected to arrive this year, rejuvenating RIM in the process. However, the Canadian manufacturer was subsequently forced to delay the launch until 2013, a move that caused many to question the future of the company

Now Thorsten Heins, RIM’s CEO, has publicly come out to reassure that all is on track. 

"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." he said. "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." 

Heins went on to explain how developers were busy preparing a host of apps in time for the launch of BlackBerry 10.

RIM has so far remained quiet on an exact launch date for BlackBerry 10. However, Alec Saunders, vice-president of developer relations at RIM, appeared to inadvertently reveal 21 January 2013 as a possible launch date, at the BB10JAM event in September.

The manufacturer subsequently refused to confirm or deny this as the arrival date for BlackBerry 10.

Yet with Heins's latest statement and the flurry of recent BlackBerry 10 device leaks – including a video demo from a RIM employee – it would appear the wait is nearly over.

Are you still excited about BlackBerry 10? Let us know in the comments below...