A recent report in Light Reading stated that several analysts are expecting the beleaguered smartphone manufacturer Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) to launch its first 4G BlackBerry smarthone in the first quarter of 2012. At present, Research In Motion is developing super-fast Long Term Evolution (LTE) network based BlackBerry, which will run on QNX operating system. The company is also expected to enter into a carrier partnership with Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group plc. (VOD), and also with AT&T (T), provided the carrier started offering LTE by that time.
Earlier, Research In Motion postponed the launch of its 4G LTE enabled PlayBook tablets till the third quarter of 2011. PlayBook also runs on QNX software. Research In Motion is facing severe problems from several fronts. The company is continuously delaying new products introduction, facing an ever increasing competitive landscape, a stagnant product portfolio, and an unfavorable product mix.
Ever since Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhone hit the market, Research In Motion started losing its leadership position. For the last couple of years, the company failed to launch any device that could capture the market from iPhone or Google Inc. (GOOG) developed Android-based high-end smartphones. It seems management is doing research in slow motion as the company failed to understand the changing tastes and preferences of the consumers. Meanwhile, the market becomes intensely competitive with the emergence of several low-cost Asian phone developers.
In this critical situation, it is very much necessary for Research In Motion to launch high-end BlackBerry as early as possible to capture the initial momentum of the market. LTE is an emerging technology throughout the world including the U.S. An early launch of innovative LTE-capable smartphone may help the company to regain some of its lost glories in the market.