• BlackBerry 10 To Launch In March? Not So Fast

    Back in June when RIM CEO Thorsten Heins told the world BB10 would be delayed until Q1 2013, most of us were pissed and after we cooled down a bit, we ultimately hoped it would be towards the beginning of Q1 (i.e. January), even though nothing more specific than Q1 has been given to this date.

    This morning, analyst Peter Misek dropped what the media considered to be a bombshell for RIM when he was quoted as saying, “We had hoped for a January launch but now see a March launch as more likely.” Gasp. Another two months?

    Later this afternoon, N4BB posted an article citing Latin tech site Infobae in which apparently "Research In Motion’s own President of Government Relations, Clint Robinson, has said the same" (in terms of BlackBerry 10 launching in March 2013).

    Do both of these reports mean RIM has "delayed" BlackBerry 10 again? Not so fast.

    First of all, March 2013 is still Q1 2013, which is what RIM has been saying over and over since they first pushed back the release, so even if that does prove to be true, it's not delay. Also, Peter Misek is a known RIM hater, there I said it. He wanted RIM to drop hardware and license BBM, and everything else to iOS/Android and pretty much give up as a smartphone manufacturer. His opinion could be right, but it could also be really wrong. Only time will tell.

    The Infobae article is what worried more people because that's from a RIM exec directly. Well, let's take a look at it a little more closely.

    The Infobae report is in spanish and sometimes little nuances of an idiom can get in the way of the overall message, specially if it's one with multiple parts and topics as this one is. The article pretty much revolves around RIM's Clint Robinson meeting with Argentina's Minister of Industry, Débora Giorgi to discuss the assembly and future release of BlackBerry devices in Argentina's Tierra del Fuego, as previously speculated and confirmed.

    According to Infobae's report, the "new" devices that will be released and produced at this new assembly location and in all of Argentina will be the Curve series 9320/9220. These will be coming to the South American country in December 2012, a ridiculously long time after they've made their debut in other areas of the world.

    After that, BlackBerry 10 is mentioned and how those devices would start to be incorporated in Argentina as well. Whether Robinson was referring to sale or production of these BlackBerry 10 devices in Argentina was not specified and based on the context, neither can be assumed. For all we know, it could be a reference to production of second wave of BB10 devices, including the BlackBerry 10 device codenamed Aristo, which wont be coming out till much later in 2013.

    Even if this isn't the case and they were referring to the L and N-Series it's not really a big confirmation of a global BB10 launch. As we saw with the implementation of the 92/9320 Curve series that's still to come, it's pretty obvious that Argentina, and many other countries in Latin America, don't get these new devices right out of the gate like many of us expect in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

    Truthfully, there hasn't been a need to roll them out so quickly either. BlackBerry 7 and hell, even BlackBerry 5 and 6 devices have been incredibly successful and are still being pushed out little by little in these regions. To assume that BlackBerry 10 will be launched in March worldwide because it may be sold/produced in Argentina during that time, is also a mistake.

    As much as we're all dying for a date, the truth is very few people actually know when it will be. While we don't want to wait any longer, and trust me when I say this, I don't want to wait longer, this is RIM's last bullet in the chamber and they have to work perfectly in sync with carriers, major app developers, and partners to aim it correctly and hit the smartphone market in the bullseye when BlackBerry 10 debuts.

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