BlackBerry 10 delayed until 2013 - Top Turkeys 2012


In December 2011 Research In Motion delayed the launch of BlackBerry 10 from early 2012 to the "latter" part of 2012, ostensibly because of a problem getting the right LTE chipset. All throughout the spring of 2012 RIM said it was focused on delivering BB10 this year, handing out prototype phones to developers at its BlackBerry Jam conference in May. At that conference RIM CEO Thorsten Heins gave developers a sneak peek at BB10 and promised the company would be "laser-focused" on bringing the platform to market later this year.

Then everything started to change, and there were signs that the company was facing even more trouble. In late May RIM confirmed it hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. and RBC Capital Markets to advise it on strategic options, including partnerships, licensing opportunities and "strategic business model alternatives."

The big blow came a month later when RIM said it was delaying the launch BB10 until the first quarter of 2013 and was going to cut 5,000 of its 16,500 employees. In the days after Heins acknowledged that the company was in a very challenging environment, but he pushed back against the idea that the company was in a "death spiral" that it couldn't recover from

Recently, Heins said in interviews that the decision to delay the launch was difficult but the right one to make because he did not want to release a rushed product to the market. RIM plans to unveil the platform Jan. 30 and will release phones shortly after that. The company has said more than 50 carriers testing BB10. All of that is positive, but the delay means RIM will miss the crucial holiday shopping season and will hit the market months after Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and its partners bring Windows Phone 8 devices to customers.