Since RIM first delayed BlackBerry 10 from later 2012 to 2013, they’ve said the first quarter or early 2013, but it’s beginning to look like the first quarter statement is the one that beginning to sound the most accurate. When RIM showed off the latest version of BB10 during BlackBerry Jam a few weeks ago, most folks assumed a January, even late in the month, release would be the most probable. But that’s not what Jefferies analyst Peter Misek is suggesting;
“We had hoped for a January launch but now see a March launch as more likely,” he writes. That would mean no sales of the next generation phones in the February quarter. “Also, our checks point to a tough November quarter, with replenishment rates decreasing as channel partners are cautious on holding RIM inventory. We think the business uncertainty means parties are unlikely to acquire or license from RIM until BB10 launches.”
Basically that all means RIM won’t have any BB10 devices on the market for an additional two months, which also means another dreadful quarter and millions in lost revenue, due to less devices shipped. On top of that, IT companies will probably hold off on purchasing any new licenses from the company until they see BB10 first hand, which also means lost revenue.
RIM’s goal of keeping or obtaining that third place position in the smartphone wars is rapidly declining, as Windows Phone 8, a clear contender for that same position, is set to launch later this month, which will give them at least a four month lead, in terms of sales and overall availability.
At this point, RIM needs BlackBerry 10 to be more than just a home run, they need it to be a grand slam, especially if they expect to stay relevant. Sadly, myself and several other industry experts don’t see their glass as half full, it’s quite the opposite.