Blackberry hit further by QNX delays

Blackberry hit further by QNX delays
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BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has posted a sharp drop in profit and offered a dismal outlook for shipments around Christmas.

It also delayed until late next year the likely arrival of a make-or-break overhaul of its smartphones with the new QNX operating system.

It was the latest in a long series of setbacks for a company that once dominated the smartphone market but is now struggling to keep up with Apple and other rivals.

RIM said it would ship just 11 million to 12 million smartphones in the weeks around Christmas, a range that sets the company up for the first quarter-to-quarter decline in six years during the crucial holiday sales season.

That compares with 14.1 million in the previous quarter and 14.8 million in the Christmas quarter last year.

Even if RIM hits the high end of its Christmas quarter shipment target it will ship fewer BlackBerrys in this fiscal year than the previous one, the first ever such decline.

The Canadian company has been counting on the new operating system to make up ground lost to Apple’s iPhone and iPad and the slew of devices that make use of Google’s Android software.

RIM explained that the QNX delay was necessary so it could make use of more powerful and energy-efficient microchips expected to arrive in mid-2012.

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