BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has warned that it could report a loss in the current quarter and said it had hired investment firms to study its strategic options.

The move comes with the BlackBerry, which pioneered the smartphone, rapidly losing market share to Apple's iPhones and devices powered by Google's Android operating system.

RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins said RIM "is going through a significant transformation" as it moved towards the launch later this year of the BlackBerry 10, the new platform aimed at competing with Apple and Google.

As a result, "our financial performance will continue to be challenging for the next few quarters," he said.

"The ongoing competitive environment is impacting our business in the form of lower volumes and highly competitive pricing dynamics in the marketplace, and we expect our first quarter results to reflect this, and likely result in an operating loss for the quarter," Heins said.

JP Morgan Securities and RBC Capital Markets were retained to advise the company in a "strategic review," which could mean a sale, alliance or other reorganisation of the business.

They will "evaluate the relative merits and feasibility of various financial strategies, including opportunities to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives," the company said in a statement.

Ontario-based RIM posted a net loss of $125m for its fiscal fourth quarter to March 3, compared with a profit of $418m a year earlier, with revenues down 25%.

The tough environment is a challenge for Heins, who was named president and CEO after the resignation of Jim Balsillie and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis following months of investor pressure for a change. Some reports said RIM will shed more jobs and taking additional writeoffs as it prepares for the new platform launch.