RIM shares down on report says BB10 phones won't come until March

Research In Motion shares are down four per cent after an analyst said the next generation of BlackBerrys won’t hit shelves until March.

Jeffries and Co. analyst Peter Misek tells specialty business TV channel BNN that timing would delay any potential licensing deals.

RIM (TSX:RIM) shares were down 32 cents to $7.74 in early afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Waterloo, Ont-based company says it’s on track to deliver BlackBerry 10 phones in the first three months of the year.

But some observers were anticipating a Januay or February release — with sales potentially bolstering financial results in RIM’s fourth quarter, which ends March 2.

RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins has said a touchscreen model would launch first while the keyboard version, known in the tech community as Qwerty, will come about one to two months later.

Research In Motion has been plagued by coolly received launches for products such as the PlayBook tablet and delays in bringing the BB10 operating system and devices to market.

It has also lost market share to Apple’s iPhone and devices running the Android operating system.

Last month, RIM reported that its quarterly loss was US$235 million or 45 cents per diluted share compared with a profit of $329 million or 63 cents per share a year ago.

The company’s adjusted loss was $142 million or 27 cents per share. While large, RIM’s loss was still much better than the 47 cents per share loss expected by analysts polled by Bloomberg.

The company reports third quarter results on Dec. 20.