RIM's BlackBerry 10 smartphones likely delayed until March 2013

It's startling how quickly RIM has seemingly fallen from grace. Once the de facto smartphone on the market, RIMs iconic BlackBerrry devices have now been relegated to the sidelines in a marketplace that is effectively dominated by Apple's iPhone and Google's Android.

It's startling how quickly RIM has seemingly fallen from grace. Once the de facto smartphone on the market, RIM's iconic BlackBerrry devices have now been relegated to the sidelines in a marketplace that is effectively dominated by Apple's iPhone and Google's Android.

And as the iPhone and an assortment of Android-based devices continue to accumulate more and more marketshare, RIM's financial situation continues to become more dire. This past June, for example, the company posted a Q1 loss of $0.37 a share, representing an astounding drop of 42% year over year. More recently, RIM posted its third straight quarterly loss as the company's revenue fell by 31% year over year.

RIM's last-ditch hope to somehow regain any semblance of relevancy in a smartphone market that has largely phased them out is its upcoming line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones. That product, however, continues to experience delays. Initially expected to be out in late 2012, ideally in time for the holiday shopping season, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins explained this past summer that the release was going to be pushed back until early 2013.

"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," Heins said. "I am confident that the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones will provide a ground-breaking next-generation smartphone user experience."

And now, citing a reseach note from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, Forbes is reporting that RIM's BlackBerry 10 devices won't be hitting stores in early January - as some optimists had hoped - but will rather be released sometime in March.

“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.”

It's sad to see a once-proud tech titan fall, but so it goes in the fast moving world of tech.

A quote from Ferris Bueller's Day Off comes to mind -  Life moves pretty fast, If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Unfortunately for RIM, they were too late to realize the iPhone revolution that was transpiring before their very eyes, and they mistakenly placed too much weight in the notion that their tactile keyboards were under no real threat from large capacitive touchscreen displays.

The sad reality is that by the time RIM gets around to introducing its fleet of BlackBerry 10 smartphones, a smattering of new Android devices will be on the market and folks will already be theorizing as to what Apple may release with the iPhone 6.

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