BlackBerry 10 devices set for August unveiling?

Those waiting for BlackBerry 10 will need to hold on for a few more months, according to a new report.

(Credit: BlackBerry)

BlackBerry-focused blog N4BB reported, citing a source, that Research In Motion (RIM) plans to unveil its first BlackBerry 10 device in August. The company will then release the handset at the beginning of October. Previous reports suggested that RIM might launch its first BlackBerry 10 handset in September.

Details on the first BlackBerry 10 device are slim so far, but N4BB's sources say it'll come with a touchscreen. The first QWERTY keyboard-equipped BlackBerry 10 handset will hit store shelves at some point during the first quarter of 2013, according to the blog.

RIM was supposed to unveil its first BlackBerry 10 devices last year. However, back in December, Mike Lazaridis, who was co-CEO at the time, told investors that the devices had been delayed to the latter half of 2012 due to RIM's selection of a processor that wouldn't be ready for several months.

"We ask for your patience and confidence," Lazaridis said at the time.

Since then, RIM's sales have plummeted. The company announced recently that BlackBerry sales during its fiscal fourth quarter were down 80 per cent to 11.1 million units, prompting current CEO Thorsten Heins to acknowledge that "substantial change" is needed to right the ship. Although Heins hasn't announced any major changes, rumours suggest that the company could license BlackBerry 10 or sell off patents to improve its standing. At this point, nearly every option appears to be on the table.

But the big question now is whether RIM can stay afloat until October, when its BlackBerry 10 handset is reportedly slated to launch. Last month, analysts didn't seem too confident.

"BB7 devices are now close to six months old, and our checks suggest that the initial enthusiasm post-launch has tailed off," Barclays analyst Jeff Kvaal wrote in a research note, adding that he expects a "dire outlook" from the company. Analysts at CIBC and Morgan Stanley were similarly down on the company's prospects for success in the coming months.

CNET has contacted RIM for comment.


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