RIM Blames Chipsets for BlackBerry 10 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