BlackBerry maker Research in Motion announced overnight that the SDK for the next generation of its mobile operating system has gone gold. RIM will launch the BlackBerry 10 OS in January next year.

Late last month RIM revealed that it had distributed more than 7500 BlackBerry 10 devices to developers intending to port or build new apps for the platform. The Dev Alpha A and Dev Alpha B devices are touchscreen-only smartphones, and RIM added a third device, the Dev Alpha C, which is equipped with a physical QWERTY keyboard to the mix on 29 November.

In October RIM revealed that devices running BlackBerry 10 had begun the process of certification at carriers around the world, but would not reveal which telcos were testing the handsets.

It has been difficult times for RIM. In Australia a number of high-profile corporate customers have shifted away from BlackBerry, including Woolworths and Jetstar, ditching RIM handsets in favour of the iPhone.

Research released today revealed that Android is now the most popular smartphone platform in Australia, with 44 per cent of the market, followed closely by Apple's iOS, with 43 per cent.

Analyst firm IDC has forecast that for 2012 Android will hold 68.3 per cent of the global smartphone smartphone, trailed by iPhone at 18.8 per cent. IDC said that had declined from to 4.75 per cent, down from more than 10% in the previous year.