RIM has lowered its new customer estimates following delays in the latest Blackberry device.

The company has reduced its figures for both the current quarter and next quarter, and is now expecting new subscribers to be about 8 percent lower than the 680,000 to 710,000 range it had estimated back in September.

At that point, RIM was banking on its BlackBerry 8700 Series for Edge networks and its BlackBerry 7130 Series for EV-DO networks wireless e-mail devices shipping in early November.

For reasons the company didn't explain, the launch of the handsets was delayed so customers had to hold off their expected purchases. Instead, the devices became commercially available this week, with general availability through retail outlets due in early December. RIM lowered its figures for next quarter by three percent.

The company has been facing some tough times of late. There is an ongoing patent infringement case filed against it by NTP. A ruling is expected shortly as RIM completes a work-around it claims sidesteps NTP's patents.

That dispute appeared to be settled in June when RIM agreed to pay $450 million for a perpetual license to the disputed patents, but the deal fell apart.