Little is known of Research in Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) now-delayed BlackBerry 10 devices, but a leaked image of a proposed roadmap appears to show not only the release windows for the smartphone maker’s next line, but also what that line may contain.
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The roadmap, acquired by BlackBerryOS.com, shows that the company plans a 4G-enabled version of its PlayBook tablet, as well as a new 10-inch tablet. The roadmap also shows the company’s previously revealed touchscreen and QWERTY handsets. While the veracity of the leak has yet to be confirmed, it does seem to conform to recent news that the release of devices running the BlackBerry 10 OS would be delayed until next year.
The PlayBook 4G shown on the roadmap appears set for a debut in the fourth quarter of 2012, while the London and Nevada-Series handsets are slated for the first quarter of 2013. The 10-inch tablet is set to roll out in the third quarter of 2013.
A lot is riding on the forthcoming product line, and the BlackBerry 10 OS, after the company announced a $518 million operating loss for the last quarter. RIM’s share price has dropped precipitously as investors start to doubt its long-awaited comeback.
Last week, RIM reported that revenue in the first quarter dropped 43 percent to $2.8 billion as sales of BlackBerry smartphones fell sharply for the second straight quarter. Analysts say the results were worse than expected, and that the BlackBerry 10 delay is even more bad news that could allow for the company’s market share to crumble even further.
Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android devices dominate the smartphone market that Research in Motion practically invented with its once ubiquitous “CrackBerry.” But in recent years, RIM has struggled to keep up with its rivals, and has been pinning hopes for a comeback on BlackBerry 10. The first phone running the new OS was originally expected later this year, but with its earnings report, RIM said it would push back that release until the first quarter of 2013.
But that could be too little, too late. Manufacturing partners have announced that they will no longer be manufacturing BlackBerry products, and rumors have been circulating that RIM may be pressured into a deal with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to use its Windows 8 mobile platform, abandoning its own software.
Still, despite all that, CEO Thorsten Heins believes, at least publicly, that Research in Motion will be able to right itself, and is pushing forward with plans to overhaul the company, even if some important moves have been delayed.
Last week, Heins said in a statement, “I am not satisfied with these results and continue to work aggressively with all areas of the organization and the board to implement meaningful changes to address the challenges, including a thoughtful realignment of resources and honing focus within the company on areas that have the greatest opportunities.”
RIM shares have fallen about 70 percent over the last year, and plunged 18 percent in extended trading after the release of its first-quarter results on Thursday. RIM also said it expects to make an operating loss in the current quarter.
RIM shares were down 1.87 percent at close this afternoon following an abbreviated day of trading ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, when U.S. markets will be closed.
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