Yesterday,we got some of the first big news from RIM in a while, upon learning that the company was scheduling its BlackBerry 10 launch event for the tail end of January. While that was good to hear on its own, especially as we’re so eager to finally get the full picture on BB10 and see how it’s going to shape up against its quite fierce competition, it didn’t really give us any insight into just when the hardware would actually become available; just look at the situation Samsung’s facing with the WP8-running ATIV S, and the three solid months between its announcement and release, for just how bad these kind of things can get. The good news is that we’re starting to get a little more optimistic about RIM’s prospects for getting its BB10 hardware out the door, thanks to some comments made by the company’s COO.
RIM’s Kristian Tear told Reuters that BB10 phones will be up for sale in stores “not too long after” the January 30 launch event. Previously, we had heard assurances that the phones would be available sometime in Q1 2013, but after delays were rumored, we became concerned that we’d be looking at March availability. While Tear’s comments still leave some room for interpretation, we’re left with the distinct impression that we should be seeing BB10 handsets hit carrier shelves sometime in February.