Over the past several months, we’ve fielded a lot of rumors regarding just when RIM’s BlackBerry 10 hardware might come out of hiding and finally hit stores. We started to narrow-in on a window after RIM announced the platform itself would launch right at the end of January, with the first phones arriving sometime after that but before we got into Q2. Most recently, some comments from a RIM exec that the hardware would land “not too long after” the platform launch had us hoping we’d see the new BlackBerrys go up for sale in February. Now some analysts are claiming that March is the best we can hope for, with some hardware not arriving until June.
A report from firm Detwiler Fenton asserts that we’ll see GSM touch-only BB10 hardware come out in March. CDMA versions would follow a couple months later, with Verizon and Sprint getting theirs in May. Then, we’d have to wait until June before the hardware QWERTY N-series phone became available.
RIM was quick to respond to those claims, and while it wasn’t willing to offer much in the way of specifics, assures us that details of BB10 retail launches will arrive at its January 30 event. It also re-confirmed that its first full-touch hardware will arrive “shortly after launch” and the QWERTY version “shortly after that”. While there’s some room for interpretation there, that sounds like an assurance that we won’t be waiting until June.