By Anu Passary | Oct 10, 2012 12:14 PM EDT
Canadian smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM) is facing delays with its BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system. According to a report by Forbes, the roll out of the much-awaited BlackBerry 10 OS has been deferred to March 2013.
"Research In Motion is not likely to launch the much-anticipated BlackBerry 10 operating system software until March 2013, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek asserts in a research note," stated the Forbes report.
Earlier in April this year, when the BB10 OS was first unveiled, CEO Thorsten Heins had spoken in detail of the operating system's potential and had mentioned that the successful launch would be the company's "top priority." The OS was initially anticipated to arrive in October 2012.
On Oct.9, in his research note, Misek stated that even though they had estimated a January launch, now a March roll out seemed to be more likely. The BlackBerry 10 is a major overhaul of the existing OS and RIM is hoping that the new software would help turn around the company's dwindling fortunes, and help it reinstate its presence in the consumer market. However, if Misek's forecast is anything to go by all does not look rosy for the ailing firm.
"Our checks point to a tough November quarter, with replenishment rates decreasing as channel partners are cautious on holding RIM inventory. We think the business uncertainty means parties are unlikely to acquire or license from RIM until BB10 launches," noted Misek in his research note.
In the past, the analyst has stated that the BlackBerry 10 OS will be a significant improvement over previous operating systems; however, it would not be enough to give a fillip to RIM's fortunes. On the other hand, Misek was of the opinion that Samsung could potentially be the company's proverbial savior if a licensing deal or acquisition happens in the near future.
The analyst also opined that even though iOS and Android currently dominate the market, a third ecosystem may emerge in time to come.
"We still believe a third ecosystem [in addition to iOS and Android] will emerge, but the probability of BB10 filling the role is wholly dependent on whether RIM can convince Samsung, Huawei, and ZTE to license," he wrote. "Baidu, Huawei, and others are pursuing their own operating systems. We also see Win 8 as somewhat of a threat but conflicting reviews, less-than-stellar developer feedback, and a desire by Microsoft to make hardware directly make Win 8."
Misek's price target for RIM's stock was $5 per share with an Underperform rating.
If the BB10 launch gets postponed to March next year, then as a direct consequence the unveiling of the new BB10-powered smartphones too will get affected. This delay would inadvertently have a strong impact on RIM's market capitalization and push to the backburner its hopes of making a comeback.
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