BlackBerry 10 smartphone launch now scheduled for early 2013

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has announced - apart from dismal earnings reports - that its next generation BlackBerry 10 handsets won't now appear until early 2013, six months after major new smartphone launches from HTC, Samsung, Nokia, and Apple with the latest operating systems, and later than it has previously stated.

"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."

The news comes after numerous adamant statements in the past that the company would have BB 10 handsets in time for Christmas 2012. 

Now RIM will have to fight against Windows Phone 8, Android Jelly Bean devices, and of course the iPhone 5 when it launches months afterwards, something that is likely to be too big a struggle for the Canadian company. 

"The successful launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform and the delivery of high-quality, full-featured BlackBerry 10 smartphones remain the company's number one priority," said RIM in the earnings report, trying to keep upbeat on the bad news.

Research In Motion blames longer than expected development time for the delays. 

"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."

Thorsten Heins added: "RIM's development teams are relentlessly focused 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.

"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."

Many suspect the fight will be too much for the company that is already struggling to keep up against the iPhone, Google Android and Microsoft's Windows Phone. 

The earnings report shows the company has lost a further $518m in the last 90 days. Shipments of BlackBerry smartphones were 7.8 million and shipments of BlackBerry PlayBook tablets were approximately 260,000, and that's before the latest bombshell. 

Sadly for RIM, fond memories aren't enough to stop the decline and fall of BlackBerry