RIM delays Blackberry 10 phones
BLACKBERRY maker Research in Motion has announced delays to its key new operating system, BlackBerry 10.
The new OS will power a new generation of phone, which the company hopes will allow it to reduce the increasing dominance of Google Android and Apple, and to fend off the challenges coming from Nokia and Microsoft.
RIM said that it could not get enough chips for its new phones and that the delays were unavoidable.
The company’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis also disappointed investors by cutting its prediction of sales to between 11 and 12 million smartphones in the current Christmas quarter, down from 14.8 million over the same time last year.
The delays mean the BB10 range, which will use the QNX operating system that runs the BlackBerry PlayBook, will now be available late in 2012, rather than by March.
The PlayBook itself has however cost BlackBerry an extra $365million in charges for unsold devices.
"It may take some time to realise the benefits of the platform transition that we are undertaking, but we continue to believe that RIM has the right set of strengths and capabilities to maintain a leading role in the mobile communications industry,” RIM's joint chief executives Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis said in a statement.
RIM's share of the smartphone market in the US fell to 9.2 per cent in the third quarter from 24 per cent in the same period last year, according to research group Canalys. Analysts said that the latest bad news will only increase the pressure on RIM to try to find a buyer.
Net income was $265m (£171m) for the quarter up to 26 November. That was down from $911m in the equivalent period of 2010. In after-hours trading, shares dropped by more than 6 per cent.