The BlackBerry platform provides the best balance in terms of cost, battery life, performance and network efficiency and this accounts for good part of our success today. We saw the opportunities to upgrade the feature phone market to smartphones around the world and we took advantage of this to grow market share globally.
We were already well down the development path for the next generation Blackberry handsets when we realized that in the U.S. the features and performance arms raise demanded that we upgrade the chipset and port BlackBerry to a higher performance platform. This was an engineering change that affected hardware and software timeline and pushed out entry into Carrier Certification lab.
There are always uncertainties in product development. However, we did not expect the extra challenges which presented to Carrier lab entry with the new platform. We are now in 31 certification programs with 23 Carriers in the U.S. and around the world and we should start seeing technical acceptances beginning this summer, with shipments beginning near the end of the quarter.
The end result of this platform changes was worth it and we now have a platform that is the same across all of our high-end BlackBerry 7 products and I believe it is highest quality BlackBerry we have entered into Carrier labs. Because these products are almost all in the same platform once the first product is certified with one Carrier we can leverage this to accelerate certification of the others.
This now enables the largest global launch of BlackBerry products in our history and allows us to rollout a rapid succession of launches over the next several months. I'd have liked nothing more than to get these BlackBerry 7 handsets out sooner and believe me, we did everything we could to make that happen, but when customers experience the quality, consistency and upgraded user experience we've achieved in these new products, you'll understand why it was worth the wait.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 that we announced and some of you may have chance to experience the BlackBerry World will be the first BlackBerry to feature to use the new 7 OS. The handset is super slim only 10.5 millimeters, with a sleek smooth feel that combines the award winning BlackBerry 9000 qwerty keyboard, with a highly responsive touchscreen, enhanced browsing with fluid liquid graphics, a powerful 1.2 gigahertz processor, 8 gigabytes of onboard memory, HD video recording, NFC; a built-in compass and many other powerful features. This launch will be followed by steady stream of new BB7-based products including both CDMA and HSPA products around the world both high-end and mid-tier.
Over the same time period, we've been able to develop our new QNX software platform and the remarkable PlayBook, which has set new standards for power and performance in the brand new category of tablet computing. We are now on a steady cadence of features and applications releases using our industry leading automatic wireless software update for PlayBook, including Facebook and video conferencing. We are soon to release native email and BBM in our Android player later in the summer. To be followed in the fall with 4G PlayBooks for WiMAX, LTE and HSPA+. The QNX software platform provides us with an immensely robust secure and standards-based platform for our future.