The long awaited BlackBerry 10 devices could hit the market by October, according to new reports.
Research in Motion is expected to announce the devices by August for an October launch according to an unnamed source who tipped off website N4BB. The source said that the first BB10 device will be a touchscreen device for 2012 while a BlackBerry device with a physical keyboard is slated for the first half of 2013. Reports about an October release for BB10 devices have been swirling around the Net and tech blogs for months now. BGR.com reported that a BlackBerry 10 smartphone, codenamed BlackBerry London would be launched in September or October.
Research in Motion has been beset by problems as its grip on the smartphone market declines as more consumers flock to Apple and Google's Android devices. Last year's RIM network outage have forced IT managers to adopt iOS and Android devices into offices cutting into RIM's traditional bailiwick of enterprise consumers. RIM's product delays have also cut into the BlackBerry maker's market share. The company announced recently that BlackBerry sales during the fourth quarter were down 80 percent to 11.1 million units. BlackBerry 10 devices were supposed to mark a turnaround for the company but its delay could mean disaster for the Canadian company. Analysts weren't confident that BlackBerry 10 devices could save RIM at this point.
"BB7 devices are now close to six months old, and our checks suggest that the initial enthusiasm post launch has tailed off," Barclays analyst Jeff Kvaal wrote in a research note, adding that RIM faces a "dire outlook." However people shouldn't write off RIM just yet even though it would take years for the company to stage a revival, according to the newest board member of Research in Motion.
Prem Watsa, RIM's third largest investor said that RIM's fortunes would turnaround in three to five years.
"Is it going to turn around in three months, six months, nine months? No," Watsa said. "Three years or five years is how I'm looking at it. But there's no guarantees. You've seen all the earnings from Apple. It's not easy to compete with Apple or Samsung or the Android group of companies." Watsa is the billionaire founder of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and joined RIM's board when RIM founders Mike Laziridis and Jim Balsillie stepped down as RIM's co-CEOs in January.
Speaking at Fairfax's annual meeting, Watsa dismissed fears that RIM would go bankrupt and said that RIM has $2.1 billion in cash and no debt.
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