RIM's big sink-or-swim moment is coming mid-2012 by all accounts – that's when the company's new BBX platform is set to hit the big time along with some pretty interesting new phones, if the BlackBerry London is anything to go by.
And it's looking more and more like RIM's last chance to turn things around, as early indications are that sales of the latest generation of BlackBerry OS 7 smartphones are already petering out.
BlackBerry launched its new QWERTY touchscreen combo Bold 9900 plus its fellow-BB OS 7 phones the Torch 9810 and 9860 back in August, making a lot of noise about how OS 7 represented a big leap forward for the BlackBerry platform.
And to be fair the hardware to go with it wasn't bad either, particularly the 9900, which gave the ever-popular Bold line an injection of touchscreen magic for the first time.
But what a different world the smartphone market is three months later. We have a new iPhone, details of Android Ice Cream Sandwich and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, a host of new HTC powerhouses, plus Nokia's new Windows Phones and its lower-end Asha phones, which look set to undercut RIM in many global markets it would have been targeting with particularly the Torch handsets.
“Our recent checks indicate slowing global sales with continued weak consumer sales in the U.S. In fact, our checks indicated weaker sales to consumers for BlackBerry 7 models at Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint as those channels remain dominated by iPhone and Android smartphones,” Canaccord analyst T. Michael Walkley told US clients recently.
“Further, our checks indicate slowing global sales of all BlackBerry 7 models, including the Bold 9900, post the launch of the iPhone 4S and price reductions for the legacy iPhone 4 and 3GS.”
Could be an especially cold Christmas up Canada way...