Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the Blackberry smartphone, has said it intends to launch a new version of the mobile device on 30th January next year.

The company says that soon after this launch, the new model – the Blackberry 10 – will then also be made available to the public.

It is understood that the Blackberry 10 will be an attempt by RIM to compete with the latest popular smartphones produced by companies such as Apple and Samsung.

In particular, the new Blackberry is expected to include facilities for browsing the net and downloading apps. It is also understood that an initial version of the new model will operate solely on a touch-screen basis rather than by keyboard input.

The company is however also expected to release, at a slightly later date, a second version of the same model which will then continue to include a keyboard.

This is because many current Blackberry users are understood to favour the device largely because of its keyboard functionality.

Commenting on the forthcoming release of the Blackberry 10 – and against a background of the current model having for some time now lost significant ground to rival smartphones – Chief Legal Officer for RIM, Steve Zipperstein, said:

“We’re not going away. We’re going to succeed with BB10. We’re going to impress our customers. We’re going to fight every day.”

The release of the Blackberry 10 had originally been scheduled for earlier this year, but technical issues are understood to have delayed its launch.