Research in Motion has pushed back the launch of its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, which the company hopes will help reverse it ailing fortunes.
As recently as this month, RIM was reported as saying BlackBerry10 would be available before Christmas. Yesterday, it confirmed that the launch of the operating system remains RIM’s "number one priority" but revealed that development is taking longer than expected.
"Over the past several weeks, RIM’s software development teams have made major progress in the development of key features for the BlackBerry 10 platform; however, the integration of these features and the associated large volume of code into the platform has proven to be more time consuming than anticipated," it said in a statement.
It is now slated for release in the first calendar quarter of 2013.
As keyboardless smartphones such as the iPhone took off, RIM took the view that it needed to reinvent its handset OS. In April 2010, it acquired QNX, a Linux-based OS for embedded systems and began developing BlackBerry 10.
RIM has talked up the transformational nature of BlackBerry 10, emphasising its significance to the company’s reinvention. "With BB10, we’re getting ready for not just a smartphone launch, we’re getting ready for a mobile computing platform for the next decade," said CEO Thorsten Heins following the last financial report.
RIM made the announcement as it reported yet another disastrous set of financial results. The Canadian company’s revenues fell 42% year-on-year during the three months ending June 2, and its net income dropped to a $518 million loss. It also revealed that it will cut 5,000 jobs by the end of next year, incurring a restructuring cost of $350 million.
The company’s share price fell 22% following the news. The Bloomberg news agency quotes one investment analyst as saying the company must "either sell, break up […] or die."
RIM is currently undergoing a strategic review to consider its options.