Research In Motion had previously highlighted an "early 2013" launch for its BlackBerry 10 operating system. However, an analyst report suggests the forthcoming mobile platform won't launch shortly after the New Year.
Instead, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said in a note to investors that a March 2013 release is more likely.
Although "management has been silent as to the timing" pertaining to a BlackBerry 10 launch, "we believe plans for a January launch have now been pushed back until March, which means BB10 will miss RIM's Februrary quarter," Forbes quotes Misek as saying.
A RIM spokesman, meanwhile, said the firm is on target to launch BlackBerry 10 during the first quarter of 2013, but refused to reveal a more specific time frame.
Misek added that the previous delay of BB10 from fall 2012 to 2013 would result in a tough fall and holiday season. "Our checks point to a tough [November quarter] with replenishment rates decreasing as channel partners are cautious on holding RIM inventory."
The analyst then commented on the potential sale of RIM, stressing that it's unlikely an acquisition would come to fruition before the launch of BlackBerry 10. He said Samsung and other Asian OEMs may be interested, but a better idea of a buyout can be generated after the release of BB10. That said, another analyst believes a sale in the future may not occur at all.
Jefferies said it's possible a third ecosystem will emerge with the release of the mobile operating system. However, that depends on whether RIM can convince Samsung, Huawei and ZTE to license it.