According to an exclusive by BlackBerry news site N4BB, Research in Motion looks set to debut BlackBerry 10 OS in August, with handsets to follow a couple of months later, in what many in the industry regard as quite possibly the Canadian firm's last attempt to even the scales of their dramatic downward spiral in recent years.

N4BB's unnamed sources at RIM say their intention is to announce the revamped OS mid-August, and follow it up with new handsets in the first half of October, ahead of the crucial Christmas period. The same sources say the first smartphone to launch will be a touch-only model.

The rumors fit well with plans revealed earlier this year by RIM CEO Thorsten Heins to release a new smartphone based on the new Blackberry 10 operating system before the end of 2012.

Those hoping to order a traditional qwerty keypad-based BlackBerry will unfortunately have to wait until sometime in the first quarter of 2013, if the sources are to be believed. In either case it will be a crucial launch for RIM, and it's expected that the phone maker will push considerable advertising dollars into the OS' upcoming release.

It is also widely expected that the first device will be the touchscreen BlackBerry London that first surfaced in rumors last November. If the hardware ends up correct, it will feature a Texas Instruments OMAP 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of on-board storage. Sitting atop the reported 3.7" touchscreen display will be a front-facing 2-megapixel camera coupled with an 8-megapixel version on the rear.

The road to releasing BlackBerry 10 has not been smooth. It was originally named BBX, but had to be changed last December after Basis International won an injunction in the US Court of Albuquerque preventing the handset maker from using the "BBX" trademark right before their planned Asian DevCon conference.