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RIM reportedly delays 3G BlackBerry to avoid next-gen iPhone

8900 en-route to AT&T in August?

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It has been claimed that Research in Motion (RIM) has delayed the launch of the BlackBerry 8900 so it doesn’t run slap bang into the launch of the 3G iPhone.

According to a report Fortune magazine, sources close to RIM claim that the company has internally blamed technical glitches with the handset, codenamed 'Meteor', as the reason for its decision to put the the launch back from June to August. The 8900 is set to be the first 3G BlackBerry to appear on the AT&T network in the US.

It’s previously been claimed that a 3G iPhone will be released in Australia in the last week of June. Earlier this month, famous tech journalist Walt Mossberg forecast that the Apple device will be out “in 60 days”. A Gartner analyst has also claimed that Apple’s ordered 10m 3G iPhones from contract manufacturers.

With all those phones to sell, it’s not surprising that RIM may be reconsidering the timing of its launch of the 8900 so its limelight isn't stolen by Apple. But, as Fortune’s report points out, delaying the email handset's launch will mean fewer phone shipments for RIM and lower subscriber growth for AT&T in its second fiscal quarter, ending 30 August.

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