Enterprise Mobility: RIM BlackBerry Bold on Sprint: Solid Placeholder

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2011-08-30 Print this article Print
BlackBerry 7 OS

BlackBerry 7 OS

RIMs newest line of smartphones runs the BlackBerry 7 OS, an updated operating system with preinstalled applications such as the enhanced BlackBerry Messenger 6.
Research In Motion finds itself in something of a quandary these days. For the past few months, the BlackBerry maker has promised its investors and the general public that its upcoming "superphones, powered by the same QNX-based operating system that runs its PlayBook tablet, will represent a radical leap forward in smartphones—and reestablish RIM as the company to beat in mobility. RIM executives are hopeful despite strong competition from the likes of Apple's iPhone and an ever-growing number of Google Android devices. In the meantime, RIM is pushing out a line of new BlackBerry smartphones loaded with the BlackBerry 7 OS, an update (but not a radical revision) of its longtime operating system. Will these new devices serve as a sufficient placeholder until RIM can bring those QNX devices to market? That's ultimately a question for the market to decide, but the new BlackBerry Bold 9900/9300—eWEEK tested one offered by Sprint—suggests the company is still more than capable of building a handsome piece of hardware: thin yet comfortable in the hand, with robust battery life and a well-designed keyboard. For those BlackBerry adherents who love their devices, there's a lot to celebrate here, particularly if they also like the familiar BlackBerry OS. But will these new BlackBerry devices draw in those who've sworn smartphone allegiance to an iPhone or Droid? That's a thornier issue. If RIM doesn't draw them in now, it can only hope those QNX superphones do the trick next year.??í
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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