RIM's forthcoming BlackBerry 10 OS is increasingly being seen as the most important release in the company's history – partly because RIM is promising so much and partly because the company is pretty much doomed if it isn't a success.
But amid the missed deadlines and underwhelming products that have got RIM into the mess it's now in comes a small glimmer of hope – the first BlackBerry 10-powered smartphone should be with us by October.
Of course, that's exactly what new CEO Thorsten Heins has been promising all along – “the latter half of 2012” were his exact words – but it's an indication of just how bad things have become at RIM that even the chance of it managing to make its targets is treated as good news.
BlackBerry-watching site N4BB says sources inside the Canadian mobile maker have confirmed that the first BB 10 device(s) are on track to hit the shelves in good time for the holiday season, with an official announcement to that effect likely to be made sometime after July.
Those of the glass-half-empty persuasion will no doubt say that still means having to get through most of the year with a product range that is looking increasingly dated by the day, but RIM will probably just about get away with it so long as BlackBerry 10 actually delivers the goods when it does arrive.
RIM certainly knows how to talk a good game – you get the feeling now-sidelined former co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie probably still think everything is hunky-dory at the company – but the first true glimpse of whether BlackBerry 10 is actually any good or not will come at next month's BlackBerry World expo in Florida.
Needless to say, the world will be watching.