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RIM Confirms BlackBerry 10 Phones Only Coming in Second Half of 2012

BlackBerry 10 smartphones 

RIM just delivered some sad news during the BlackBerry earnings call that is currently going on. Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis confirmed that BlackBerry 10 phones will not be available until the second half of 2012. They say this is because the BlackBerry 10 LTE phones are held up by a chipset that will not be available until Mid-2012. They say this chipset is needed to offer the battery life that customers expect.

While some of that is definitely true it is really going to hit RIM hard that they are missing the first half of 2012. The story is still developing so expect more…

Thanks Phil for the screenshot!

27 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Wow. Very sad news indeed. I was hoping to wait and use my upgrade on a BB 10 superphone in EARLY 2012. Now I’m not sure what to do. If they say the “latter part of calendar 2012” I’m guessing at least December. :(

  2. That is ok, but why not launch some non-LTE phones before then.

    There are many markets (especially in Latin America) that don’t have any LTE coverage anyways. Even in the US it is unlikely that Sprint and T-Mobile will have much of an LTE network rolled out by next year anyhow.

    • Exactly. This does sound like an excuse.
      Android phones have been shipping with the same processor used in the PlayBook for months. There are chipsets out there that the new phones can use and I can’t believe their R&D dept has only just found out about this problem…

      • I do not think its feasible to launch a phone that you are not going to launch in north america

        If the american/canadian carriers are pressing hard for LTE.. RIM may have had no choice

        • Yes, but that’s one version of the phone, just like the Galaxy S2 has a LTE version or the Bold has a CDMA version.
          They could launch a GSM version of the Bold Next in early 2012. Better looking chassis, better camera, same split UI design and BB10 inside.
          Something is telling me that the problem is not with the hardware, but not all the software components of what makes the BlackBerry experience possible run on BB10.

          • You are right Ofutur.. but… the two versions of the SGSII came out roughly at the same time.

            Its a whole other animal to have one version launch then launch the LTE 4 months later

            doesn’t make much sense when you do it that way.

            I think RIM just wants to start fresh with super highend products

            Again… there have been rumors that carriers are putting big pressure on LTE devices… clearly RIM gave in

            • OK, so they want a super high-end device to show them all, but they have more than one segment to cater for.
              I can’t believe that their plan was to release a LTE device first, for 2% of their user base…and then wait a few months before releasing the phone everybody has been waiting for.

              • I can… because thats the market they need to recapture

              • The Colt was what they were going to originally release but carriers supposedly pushed back saying they needed LTE phones to justify their LTE investments. RIM caved and made the Colt a dev only phone.

                • Carriers in the US, maybe, but that wouldn’t have prevented RIM from releasing the Colt elsewhere if connectivity speed was the only issue. I suspect the Colt was underpowered to run QNX, but they surely have discovered this more than 6 months ago and have been working on a replacement device for GSM networks.

                  I don’t buy the “we’ve put all our efforts into releasing one LTE phone asap and it’s delayed so we’ll have no new phones for 9 months”. It sounds like an egotistic thing to do and now is not the time.
                  When they released the original Bold, they were behind (as usual) and needed to quickly release a 3G device, so it made sense to focus on that. With LTE, they could be on time, in some markets, but that won’t be the radio used in most networks in 2012, so I don’t get why it’s their top priority.

      • As I understand it now… and this is out of my realm of expertise…

        current LTE phones have two chipsets… one for CPU, one for LTE

        this creates HUGE battery and efficiency issues

        The chipset RIM referred to today is integrated meaning there will be 1 chipset that has BOTH dual core and lte functions

        this will allow the LTE to run much more efficiently

        • And it makes sense to use such a chipset given the ridiculous battery life of today’s LTE phones, but they only found out about this problem now? We were supposed to see a prototype in October. They’ve been working on this for a long time.

          • Maybe its more a supply issue in that the chip was scheduled earlier and has been delayed.. hard to say… although I am sure Qualcomm would answer the question if asked

            I wonder if anyone will try to confirm RIM’s story

  3. This is where we see things are tough for RIM. Because of who they are they need phones that last a full day and with current LTE chip sets available and the QNX OS that couldn’t happen.

    It’s a tough pill to swallow but I’m not sure it’s the wrong call. I don’t think RIM wants the “big news” about BB10 phones to be “they can’t get through a business day!”

    It’s too bad that they will miss the back to school period again!

    • agreed Kiddo…

      the BB10 phones can literally have NO FLAWS lol…

      seriously though.. they need to minimize any criticisms.

      It needs to be an A+ 10/10 phone on all reviews

  4. The really big worry is that by late 2012 the design of the phones might be out of date.

    • Yep and it’s always the case with RIM, except that next year they won’t be able to afford it anymore.

    • you say
      “The really big worry is that by late 2012 the design of the phones might be out of date”.
      Well, the other designers should be just as fast or slow as RIM on bringing a low-consumption LTE device to the market. If RIM is late, then they need to take a hard look at the speed with which they move through product design, from concept to shipping.

      2nd point (been mentioned before)
      I still don’t get why a “normal” gsm/gprs/edge/cdma phone can not be launched before, especially in markets which will NOT get LTE for a long time still (Latin AMerica, Indonesia, Eastern Europe, India). There were RIM launches outside N.A. before.
      I know the transition to QNX is no picnic, but people (consumers) might start to doubt the new platform and instead of holding on to their devices just jump wagon.

  5. Yeah, BBA Brian is exactly correct. I flagged this issue awhile back, so it’s unfortunate that so many people had their hopes up for an earlier release. But I really believe they are making the right decision here. The experience on the current LTE phones is just not good.

    Check out a good explanation of the issue here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4925/why-no-lte-iphone-5-blame-28nm-maturity

  6. Last thing I heard was that the new Blackberry OS which offers some type of Android interface would be out the 3rd quarter of 2012. That’s what I continue to read. I’d rather BB get it right versus throwing the new BB’s out of the door and us devotes having major issues with it.

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