Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) is delaying the launch of its new phone operating system Blackberry 10 and is to cut 5,000 jobs. The move comes as the Canadian smartphone pioneer struggles to keep up with Apple, Samsung and HTC in the increasingly competitive smartphone and tablet markets. When it finally launches, Blackberry 10 will feature 3D effects and has been designed to make it easier for developers to port Android apps to help bolster the amount of software available on the touchscreen phones it will power.
The system was originally supposed to have been released by March, and the news that it has been delayed again until 2013 means it will miss out on this year’s lucrative back-to-school season.
The confirmation of job losses, which RIM had warned of last month, came as the firm reported a $518m (£334m) net loss in the three months to 2 June.
That compared with a $695m profit in the same period a year earlier.
Revenue in the first quarter dropped 43% to $2.8bn as sales of its Blackberry smartphones fell sharply for a second straight quarter.
The first phone with Blackberry 10 was expected later this year, but will now ship in the first quarter of 2013.
“Our first quarter results reflect the market challenges I have outlined since my appointment as CEO at the end of January,” said RIM boss Thorsten Heins.
“I am not satisfied with these results and continue to work aggressively with all areas of the organisation and the board to implement meaningful changes to address the challenges, including a thoughtful realignment of resources and honing focus within the company on areas that have the greatest opportunities.
“Our top priority going forward is the successful launch of our first Blackberry 10 device, which we now anticipate will occur in the first quarter of calendar 2013.”
Shares in RIM have fallen about 70% over the past year.