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BlackBerry fans won’t be able to get their hands on handsets powered by the much-vaunted BlackBerry 10 operating system for the best part of a year, the company has admitted.

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) has had a tempestuous last 12 months, in which the company was battered by economic headwinds as well as a lukewarm response to its latest smartphones and a disastrous reception for its debut tablet, the PlayBook.

The weak showing saw third quarter earnings fall by 71 per cent, the company announced today. And anyone hoping that the next-generation of phones could engender a quick transformation of its fortunes will have been crushed to learn at the earnings call that they’re due to land much later than was originally expected.

CEO Mike Lazaridis told delegates: "To achieve this goal, we need a highly integrated dual-core LTE platform. The processor we selected offers industry-leading power and efficiency that also allows us to deliver the industrial design that we believe is critical to success in this market segment.

“This chipset will not be available until mid-2012, and as a result of this and certain other factors, we now expect our first BlackBerry 10 smartphone to come to market in the latter part of calendar 2012.”

Lazaridis pinned the delay on the fact that the dual core chipset housed in the phones will not be available until the middle of next year, as well as the need to ensure the OS fulfils customer expectations.

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