Is this the beginning of the death knell for the BlackBerry?
Research in Motion, the company behind the smartphone, was taking a beating Friday on Wall Street in the wake of announcing a delay in the introduction of its next generation BlackBerry until the latter part of 2012.
According to one analyst, “This could be game over for the BlackBerry franchise,” Reuters reported.
When it does reach store shelves, the BlackBerry 10 will feature the QNX operating system. It was expected to be introduced in the first quarter of 2012, but the new smartphone relies on a chip that won’t be available until mid-2012, the Canadian company said. That will push phone shipments to later in the year.
The delay comes as BlackBerry’s chief competitors, Apple, Amazon and Google, continue to grab market share in the smartphone and tablet arena.
RIM has been beset with problems in recent months. Several weeks ago it said it had to write off much of its deeply-discounted PlayBook tablet inventory. It also said it didn’t expect to sell as many BlackBerry phones as it did last holiday season.
Meanwhile, Apple continues to see strong sales with its latest iPhone and iPad. Amazon announced Thursday that it is selling more than 1 million Kindles a week. Phones using Google’s Android operating system also are giving BlackBerry a run for its money.