We can't even say it's a surprise. With the arrival of RIM's BlackBerry 10 platform supposedly finally coming into sight, rumours are starting to swirl around involving the dreaded D-word: delays.
Analyst Peter Misek of Jefferies suggests we may have to wait until March before BB10 finally appears in the wild, and adds that things aren't looking too good for RIM's ambitious plan to license its operating software either.
In a research note to investors, Misek said RIM still believes it can get BB10 out the door in January, but said March was “more likely”.
His reasoning? He doesn't say, but we have to presume there is one and he's not just making it all up.
Technically, of course, March still falls within the broader Q1 2013 launch window RIM has consistently been promising all along. CEO Thorsten Heins has made it clear on a number of occasions that the software is effectively finished, and was only being held back to the New Year to make 100% sure it's everything RIM wants it to be.
The fact that the story is getting airtime in the first place simply indicates how vulnerable RIM is right now: with practically every other smartphone maker worth talking about having released new hardware over the past month or so, the merest suggestion of a delay to RIM's own next-generation kit is a headache the company can well do without.
There's also the knock-on effect on potential OEM partners – RIM wants to license BB10 to other handset makers as a way of spreading the ecosystem beyond its own product portfolio.
Persuading OEM partners to jump on board in the current climate is tough enough without fears that RIM may not be able to deliver the software on time.
It effectively means there's little to no chance of any significant licensing deals being struck until potential partners are satisfied the software lives up to RIM's promises.