RIM’s first quarter fiscal 2012 results are in, and it’s not looking good at all. The Waterloo-based company has announced that it is delaying BlackBerry 10, originally announced in May at BlackBerry World and scheduled for release this fall, until the first quarter of 2013. That’s the first quarter of the calendar year, mind you, not RIM’s fiscal calendar. The company also announced a GAAP loss of over $500 million, revenue of $2.8 billion (down 33% from last quarter), and “restructuring efforts” that will lay off 5,000 employees.
Of course, RIM’s statement attempts to downplay this potentially disastrous news by touting BlackBerry smartphone sales of 7.8 million units and PlayBook tablet sales figures at a much smaller 260,000. The company is also playing up its 23-country World Tour BlackBerry Jam developer sessions, but finding developers isn’t RIM’s biggest problem. BlackBery 10 was supposed to help save the company from its downward spiral, but missing the fall 2012 launch window could have a very negative effect.
“RIM’s development teams are relentlessly focused on ensuring the quality and reliability of the platform and I will not compromise the product by delivering it before it is ready,” stated RIM President and CEO Thorsten Heins. ”I am confident that the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones will provide a ground-breaking next generation smartphone user experience.” That’s all well and good, and normally we’d advocate waiting for a better and more polished OS than rushing it out the door, but can RIM survive that long?
Update: The news just keeps getting worse. AllThingsD’s Ina Fried is now reporting that the first BlackBerry 10 devices will be touch-only. Device models with RIM’s hallmark physical keyboard won’t be released until after the OS launches.