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Will Blackberry 10 be delayed until March 2013?

The latest whispers about Research in Motion’s (RIM) Blackberry 10 OS were that the much delayed platform is set to feature on six devices.

Following the news that RIM’s share price dipped on Tuesday, a senior analyst has now warned that BB10 won’t make its debut until March 2013, as opposed to the beginning of the year.

“We had hoped for a January launch but now see a March launch as more likely,” said Jeffries and Co. analyst Peter Misek in a briefing note.

BB10 hold up: How will it affect RIM?

Misek argues that RIM is unlikely to get third-party manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC on board until after a launch date is readied for BB10.

This will in turn slow down the uptake of the platform and cause partners to be reluctant to invest in any more BlackBerry 7 handsets, hitting the company’s bottom line.

According to the analyst RIM needs the cash pile of $2.3bn to make up revenue shortfalls, but up to $1 billion will need to be ploughed into manufacturing enough handsets to get the BB10 OS off the ground and to pay off developers.

BB10: A glimmer of hope?

Misek argues that the delay won’t knock Blackberry off its number three spot in the market, and that Windows Phone 8 should not present a major threat.

“We still believe a third ecosystem will emerge, but the probability of BB10 filling the role is wholly dependent on whether RIM can convince Samsung, Huawei, and ZTE to license,”

“We also see Windows 8 as somewhat of a threat but conflicting reviews, less-than-stellar developer feedback, and a desire by Microsoft to make hardware directly make Windows 8 unlikely to have better odds at becoming the third ecosystem than the previously mentioned new entrants, in our view.”

BB10 could be the key to reversing RIM’s fortunes, but we’ll have to wait until next year to measure the full impact.

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