Research In Motion's "downward spiral" is expected to continue, even with the coming launch of BlackBerry 10 during the first quarter of next year. The company's subscriber base is expected to plateau soon, one analyst said.

"This is the first quarter we are expecting zero subscriber growth – a loss in enterprise offset by a small gain in international consumer subs," National Bank Financial analyst Kris Thompson told The Globe and Mail recently. "Starting next quarter, we see the sub base in a downward spiral with BlackBerry 10 potentially slowing [that decline], but we're not holding our breath."

RIM desperately needs a home run with BlackBerry 10, and its first BlackBerry 10 devices, but even then it might not be enough to compete against iOS 6, Windows Phone 8 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Unfortunately, the company really needed to get its latest operating system out the door sooner, not only to keep its customers but also to cater to developers who are no doubt leaving the platform to create apps for more lucrative platforms.

"With increased global smartphone competition and our belief there is a very low probability the market will support RIM's new BB10 ecosystem, we believe RIM will ultimately need to sell the company or dramatically change its business model," Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley told The Globe and Mail.

[via Ars Technica, The Globe and Mail]