RIM’s (RIMM) highly anticipated 3G BlackBerry for AT&T (T) could be delayed from June to August, Fortune reports.
The release of the phone, apparently named Meteor, has been pushed to as late as August, from the planned June launch, say people close to the companies. The reason for the delay isn’t clear, but people close to the companies say AT&T had concerns about call quality.
Some of these people speculate however that AT&T may be using a tech glitch as an excuse to avoid having two competing 3G smartphones launch at the same time. Apple’s new iPhone is expected to debut in June, and analysts have speculated that the release will likely coincide with the one-year anniversary of the original iPhone, which is June 27.
The delay of the new BlackBerry comes at a particularly sensitive time for RIM. As product cycles and phone fashions go, the current crop of BlackBerries – the Curve, the Pearl, etc. – are due for a refresh as demand slows. Among the big things expected from RIM was the first 3G version of BlackBerry, being called Meteor or the 8900. It is a black phone with a silver metal edge, curved corners and a flatter Qwerty keyboard than the namesake bumpy berry-skin keypad.
A new product delay from June to August would mean fewer phone shipments and lower subscriber growth than some may be expecting in the company’s fiscal second quarter ending Aug. 30.
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