More trouble for RIM as BlackBerry 10 handsets slip to 2013

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thorsten-heins-blackberry-w1.jpgThey just aren’t having any luck over at RIM at the moment, are they? The BlackBerry manufacturers have just released a statement that their next big smartphone hope, the BlackBerry 10 OS and related handsets now wont ship until early 2013, months after the releases of major rival handsets, and months again after RIM’s own initial estimations.

“Our top priority going forward is the successful launch of our first BlackBerry 10 device, which we now anticipate will occur in the first quarter of calendar 2013,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO.

“In parallel with the roll out of BlackBerry 10, we are aggressively working with our advisors on our strategic review and are actively evaluating ways to better leverage our assets and build on our strengths, including our growing BlackBerry subscriber base of approximately 78 million, our large enterprise installed base, our unique network architecture and our industry leading security capabilities.”

Putting the finishing touches to the handsets and OS seems to have caused RIM the problems, with development time taking longer than they’d initially planned:

“Over the past several weeks, RIM’s software development teams have made major progress in the development of key features for the BlackBerry 10 platform; however, the integration of these features and the associated large volume of code into the platform has proven to be more time consuming than anticipated. As a result, the Company now expects to launch the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones in market in Q1 of calendar 2013.”

“RIM’s development teams are relentlessly focussed on ensuring the quality and reliability of the platform and I will not compromise the product by delivering it before it is ready. I am confident that the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones will provide a ground-breaking next generation smartphone user experience,” continued Heins.

“We are encouraged by the traction that the BlackBerry 10 platform is gaining with application developers and content partners following the successful BlackBerry Jam sessions that we have held around the world since the beginning of May. Similarly, the reception of the BlackBerry 10 platform by our key carrier partners has been very positive and they are looking forward to going to market with BlackBerry 10 smartphones in the first quarter of calendar 2013.”

However, by early 2013 RIM won’t just have falling interest in their products to contend with, but handsets powered by Google’s newly revealed Android Jelly Bean OS, Microsoft’s Windows 8, and likely the iPhone 5. It’s an uphill struggle that’s only getting steeper for the Canadian manufacturer.

Earnings reports show that the last 3 months for the firm was been dreadful, losing a further $518 million and only managing to shift 7.8 million units from their entire smartphone range and a mere 260,000 PlayBook tablets.

Gerald Lynch