Research firm expects first touch-screen BB10 handset to launch in U.S. during March.
Research firm Detwiler Fenton has said in a research note that RIM's first QWERTY BlackBerry 10 smartphone will launch in June.
The first touch-screen BlackBerry 10 phone won’t launch in the U.S. until March, it added. "RIM’s stock has been on a tear recently thanks to a number of upgrades and optimism surrounding its upcoming BB10 platform. However, as we dig a little deeper, there appears to be a few issues that could set up for some disappointing numbers in the 2013 first half."
"Therefore, it is possible RIMM’s February quarter may only see a very small number of BB10 sales with the May quarter also coming in light due to limited QWERTY keyboard shipments and limited shipments to Sprint and Verizon," Detwiler added.
"It’s our opinion RIM will ship approximately 400,000 BB10 units in the February quarter and 2.2 million to 2.5 million units in the May quarter. While this is clearly a North American / developed market view, we think this is the right way to look at the 2013 first half because the initial BB10 handsets are higher end and not targeted for emerging markets."
The research company states the reasons for the delayed QWERTY launch remains unclear, but that it will be "a serious problem for RIMM in its efforts to stop the bleeding and stabilize the business…we simply don’t see much of an upgrade cycle for RIMM from its legacy QWERTY devices to full touch screen devices."
RIM's official stance on the rumored launch periods for the smartphones is: "Details of the commercial availability for BlackBerry 10 will be announced at the global launch events on January 30. Our executives have made it clear that the touch screen device will be available shortly after launch with the physical keyboard version to follow shortly after that."
The Canadian-based phone maker previously confirmed it'll unveil the first BlackBerry 10 handsets on January 30, the same day the operating system itself launches.
An executive then suggested the firm will release the smartphones 30 days after the aforementioned date, with RIM itself stating it's looking to launch the devices as soon as the platform releases.
RIM, who recently delivered QWERTY BlackBerry 10 smartphones to select developers, recently had its shares increase due to a positive outlook on the forthcoming platform by Goldman Sachs.