New BlackBerries six months away: analyst

"We had hoped for a January launch but now see a March launch as more likely"

If you're waiting for RIM's new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, you're facing a long, cold winter: One stock analyst is saying they likely won't be available until March.

Officially that's no delay because RIM has been saying for some time that its next generation smartphones with the new operating system will be ready in the first calendar quarter of the new year. But many had been hoping for sooner rather than later.

BACKGROUND: RIM offers wider peek at new BlackBerry UI

One of them was Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, who in a recent research note (seen and reported by Forbes reporter Eric Savitz) says he thinks the March date is now "more likely" though he apparently didn't explain why.

"We had hoped for a January launch but now see a March launch as more likely," Misek writes.

Meanwhile, RIM's sales face a "tough November quarter, with replenishment rates decreasing as channel partners are cautious on holding RIM inventory. We think the business uncertainty means parties are unlikely to acquire or license from RIM until BB10 launches."

Misek also doesn't expect a white knight to arrive and buy RIM at least in the near term, nor does he think we'll see any moves to license BlackBerry 10 to other smartphone makers before it's launched.

Misek still thinks there's room for a third mobile "ecosystem" after iOS and Android. But for that to be based on BlackBerry 10, RIM would have to convince Samsung, Huawei and ZTE to license the OS.

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