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Research In Motion Warns of Launch Delay

Research In Motion (RIMM), whose patent travails have eaten up 19% of its market cap this year, said Wednesday that two hotly anticipated products have had launch delays and won't be available to retail customers until December.

RIM said the launch of its BlackBerry 8700 for Edge networks and the BlackBerry 7130 Series for EV-DO networks suffered unspecified problems and have only recently become commercially available through business channels. They were supposed to hit commercial channels earlier this month.

"As a result, many customers delayed purchases in anticipation of the newer products," RIM said.

The main impact of the snafu will be to lower RIM's overall subscriber additions in the third quarter ending Nov. 26. The company expects additions to be within a range that is 8% below its previously forecast 680,000 to 710,000, made in September. Fourth-quarter additions will be about 3% below the previous forecast range.

Even with the problems, RIM expects to post third-quarter revenue of $540 million to $570 million, and said fourth-quarter revenue guidance shouldn't suffer materially. Analysts expect the company to earn 66 cents on sales of $555.69 million in the third quarter and 76 cents a share on sales of $606.19 million in the fourth.

The stock shed $5.58, or 8.3%, to $61.50 on the Instinet premarket session Wednesday.

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