BlackBerry 10 Release Will Likely Slip Into March
Research In Motion’s struggle to get its new BlackBerry 10 operating system and the devices that will run it has been a long and difficult one, fraught with disappointment. After twice delaying the OS, the company finally promised to deliver it in the first quarter of 2013. And while the company is still on track to make good on that pledge, it’s looking more and more like BB10 will ship at the tail end of Q1 2013, not the beginning, as many had hoped.
In other words, don’t expect RIM’s new make-or-break OS until March 2013.
“Management has been silent as to the timing of the launch within CQ1,” Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said Tuesday. “But we believe plans for a January launch have now been pushed back until March, which means BB10 will miss RIM’s February quarter.”
Here at AllThingsD, we’ve been hearing similar chatter, with sources familiar with RIM’s plans indicating that a January launch is, in the words of one, “probably too optimistic.” This person also reiterated that the company is intent on releasing polished products. It’s working quickly, but it isn’t going to rush its new handset portfolio to market. Given its deteriorating market position, RIM needs an exceptional hit. And that’s what it’s shooting for.
For its part, RIM says all is well. “There’s lots of rumors and speculation out there. I think that demonstrates lots of interest in BlackBerry 10,” a RIM spokeswoman told AllThingsD. “As Thorsten mentioned during BlackBerry Jam Americas, we continue to be on track for our calendar Q1 target.”
So RIM will continue to face challenging conditions in the current quarter, with the holidays being particularly tough. But even the skeptical Misek sees a chance of things beginning to turn around next year, after BB10 ships — particularly if RIM licenses the OS to others. “We still believe a third ecosystem will emerge, but the probability of BB10 filling the role is wholly dependent on whether RIM can convince Samsung, Huawei, and ZTE to license,” Misek said. “We think Samsung and some other Asian OEMs might be interested, but we think they see better terms and entry points months from now.”