LAUNCH EVENT: Research In Motion said Monday that it will hold an official launch event for its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones on Jan. 30. The new phones are seen as critical to RIM's survival.
THE BACKGROUND: The Waterloo, Ontario-based company has struggled in North America to hold onto customers who are abandoning BlackBerrys for flashier iPhones and Android phones.
THE EXPECTATIONS: RIM is hanging its hopes on the BlackBerry 10 software. It is thoroughly redesigned for the touchscreen, Internet browsing and apps experience that customers now expect. Yet they will be released after the holiday shopping season and well after Apple's launch of the iPhone 5, expected to be Apple's biggest product introduction yet.