BlackBerry 10 is still on-track for a Q1 2013 release, according to Research In Motion.

Today, the company announced that 50 carriers are currently in the testing stages (called “Lab Entry”) for BlackBerry 10. This is a huge step towards the Canadian smartphone giant getting its next-generation operating system out the door, installed on phones, and sold to potential customers. The reason that it’s a big deal is because carriers want to make sure that new operating systems – and the new hardware that goes along with it – will work flawlessly on their networks so customers have as great an experience as possible.

According to RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, the testing has been going along very well with carriers. The relatively new CEO recently went on a road trip to talk with a number of carrier partners about BlackBerry 10. Heins says that “their response has been tremendous.” Needless to say, he feels very confident that his company’s new operating system will be a hit, judging by the statement he sent to CNET.

You can read that statement in its entirety below. But before you do, let us know: are you feeling confident that BlackBerry 10 will be a success for RIM – or that it will even be released in the timeframe that RIM is promising?

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. 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. We made this commitment during our recent results conference call and we have delivered. This process will continue in the coming months as more carriers around the world formally evaluate the devices and our brand new software.

I have spent the last several weeks on the road visiting with carrier partners around the world to show them the BlackBerry 10 platform and to share with them our plans for launch. Their response has been tremendous. They are excited about the prospect of launching BlackBerry 10 in their markets. Our respective teams are now engaged on the technical and commercial preparation of the launch of BlackBerry 10 and the lab entry is an important milestone in that context.

The hard work will not stop here as we build towards launch. Our developer teams are continuing to generate momentum to bring a wealth of applications to BlackBerry 10, our enterprise teams have started to present BlackBerry 10 devices and services to our business customers, and our engineers are fully mobilized to ensure that BlackBerry 10 launches flawlessly in the first quarter of 2013.

[CNET]