BlackBerry 10 delay is bad news for RIM

“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.”
- RIM CEO Thorsten Heins

What’s even worse than an extended product delay? Try a quarterly loss of $518 million as well as 5000 job cuts (30 percent of the company’s workforce). Thursday’s earnings report (PDF), while disappointing, comes as no surprise to those of us who have followed RIM’s ups and downs over the past few years.

My very first smartphone was a BlackBerry Curve 8300 on Verizon. It didn’t have Wi-Fi or 3G, the trackball constantly fell out, and you couldn’t capture video. However, it had one of the best hardware QWERTY keyboards I’ve ever used on a phone (and I’ve used a lot of phones) and it introduced me to the joy that is BlackBerry messaging.

Over the the past several years covering smartphones, I’ve watched RIM go from being synonymous with the word “smartphone” to struggling to keep up with the quickly evolving Apple iPhone and Google Android army. I want to see RIM back on its feet again and BlackBerry 10 seemed like a promising new beginning for the company. But in light of Thusday’s news, it is going to take some sort of miracle to pull RIM out of this mess. I’d like to see an Apple-like comeback from them, but I think this might end up more like a Palm/HP downfall.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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