Updated: More Than One Reason Why RIM's BlackBerry 10 Phones Are Late?

Vaporware

What’s the real reason behind the delay of the BlackBerry 10 handsets, which has Research in Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) in a lot of trouble heading into 2012? One report thinks it has less to do with hardware and more to do with the continuing problems integrating RIM’s best old-school feature into its new-school operating system.

BGR, which tends to have friends inside RIM but has otherwise uncorked some whoppers this year, reported Thursday that one insider scoffed at co-CEO Mike Lazaridis’ assertion that a last-minute decision to change the chips needed for the one is to blame for the delay. Instead, according to the unnamed source, it’s all about RIM’s inability to make its e-mail software work with the BlackBerry 10 operating system: one of the reasons that its Playbook tablet was dead on arrival is because the company still hasn’t delivered a software update with that capability.

It’s certainly plausible that RIM is still having trouble making the e-mail software that remains its best asset work with the new operating system. There’s no way RIM would be able to get away with shipping a BlackBerry smartphone that didn’t have a native e-mail experience.

But it really doesn’t matter. Whether or not the problems lie in hardware or software, RIM’s inability to execute is the main reason why its stock has plunged, why competitors are kicking the tires, and why its CEOs simply have to go.

Updated: RIM chose to speak out on this rumor, rather than just letting it sit, and reiterated that the hardware decision has caused the delay. “As explained on our earnings call, the broad engineering impact of this decision and certain other factors significantly influenced the anticipated timing for the BlackBerry 10 devices. The anonymous claim suggesting otherwise is inaccurate and uninformed,” it said in a statement to AllThingsD.

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