What does a smartphone manufacturer do when its flagship handset seems several years behind the iPhone and Android devices when it comes to features and functionality?

If that handset manufacturer is Research in Motion it will see declining sales in the U.S. for the fifth straight quarter, and, according to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek,  more than likely negatively pre-announce the February quarter ending March 3rd.

Research in Motion won’t release it’s next generation BlackBerry 10 operating until late 2012 and probably won’t see any reprieve from the rapid loss of market share on legacy BlackBerry handsets until after BlackBerry 10 devices start to ship.  Another big issue for RIM, however, is that BlackBerry 10 won’t be available until after the iPhone 5 is released, which, most analysts find particularly troubling for RIM.

Even if BlackBerry 10 turns out to be as good as Research in Motion says it will be, it could get caught up in the wake of the the iPhone 5, which , if history repeats itself for a sixth time, will be the biggest launch in Apple history…

Where do you think Research in Motion and the BlackBerry go from here?