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RIM Blames Chipsets for BlackBerry 10 Delay

Trading time-to-market for 'aggressive' design, RIM says QNX-based smartphones will be a late 2012 arrival

Sarah Thomas

December 15, 2011

2 Min Read
RIM Blames Chipsets for BlackBerry 10 Delay

BlackBerry 10, the operating system that carries BlackBerry 's hopes for a recovery in the U.S., won't be ready until late 2012, and RIM's co-CEOs say chipset issues are to blame for the delay.

"We decided to use a highly integrated chipset that's not available until mid-year in production," Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said on RIM's third-quarter earnings call Thursday. "We're using that chipset to have a much more aggressive industrial design to the product and better power and efficiency." (See RIM Reports 27% Quarterly Profit Dive.)

This kind of high-efficiency, low-power, integrated chipset is necessary for Long Term Evolution (LTE) products in the U.S., Lazaridis added, noting that RIM's currently shipping BlackBerry 7 is doing well around the world, but implying it may not be up to snuff in the States. (See RIM Revamps the BlackBerry.)

As the market continues to wait on RIM's QNX-based smartphones, the company is hoping its current line of BlackBerry smartphones, as well as its planned PlayBook 2.0 update, will help keep consumers and developers waiting in the wings. (See RIM Writes Off Inventory, RIM Plans a Q3 PlayBook Revival and RIM Lowers Guidance Amidst Poor Q1.)

RIM says it expects to sell between 11 million and 12 million smartphones during the fourth quarter, but the wait for BlackBerry 10 could prove detrimental to the already waning company. Co-CEO Jim Balsillie admitted that RIM's U.S. business is particularly weak.

He and Lazaridis said they are leaving "no stone unturned" when it comes to evaluating the business and improving RIM's performance, including conducting a major cost optimization and resource efficiency program, dubbed CORE. The company is also planning more marketing, promotions and advertising around BlackBerry 7 to keep up what little momentum it has in the U.S.

"We ask for your patience and confidence and look forward to reporting further progress," Lazaridis said.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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