Ina Fried

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RIM Delays First QNX-based BlackBerry Devices to Late 2012

As many outsiders thought would happen, RIM has delayed the launch of its next-generation BlackBerry devices that make use of its new QNX-based operating system.

On a conference call with analysts, RIM co-CEOs said that, for a variety of reasons, the company has pushed out the release. In particular, Balsillie said the company has selected a chipset that won’t be available until mid-2012, meaning its first devices won’t be available until “the latter part” of 2012. The new chipset will allow greater power efficiency and allow for a better industrial design, RIM said.

“We ask for your patience and confidence,” co-CEO Jim Balsillie said on a conference call (which is still taking place).

The product delay came as the company reported another disappointing quarterly earnings report that fell short of original expectations.

Pushing out the QNX-based phones means that RIM will have to rely even longer on its current operating system, which has grown quite long in the tooth. It also raises serious questions about the company’s ability to retain attention from carriers, developers, businesses and consumers, all of whom have many other options when it comes to smartphones.

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