RIM's QNX-powered BlackBerry "superphones" could be delayed until the second half of 2012, according to a new analyst report. QNX will succeed BlackBerry 7 OS.
Motion will likely delay its next-generation QNX-powered "superphones" into the
second half of 2012, suggests a new analyst report. If that proves accurate, it
means the Canadian company will need to rely on its BlackBerry OS for an
extended period of time.
also prove problematic for RIM, whose latest BlackBerry devices-announced Aug.
3, and running the new BlackBerry 7 OS-are widely considered something of a
technology placeholder, meant to slow the company's market-share decline until
those as-yet-unrevealed "superphones" finally arrive to level the playing field
against Apple's iPhone and ever-more-sophisticated Google Android smartphones.
But that plan
might not succeed.
"We cut our
estimates below consensus based on checks that handset shipments will be worse
than expected in the Nov. Q despite the sell-in of the new OS 7 handsets,"
Peter Misek, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., wrote in an Aug. 4 note to
investors. "We continue to believe the story hinges on QNX, which we believe
will be delayed to [the second half of 2012] vs. guidance of early CY12."
RIM's new devices running BlackBerry 7 OS
the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930, the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and the BlackBerry
Torch 9850/9860. The new operating system offers faster browsing, smoother
navigation, voice-activated universal search and preinstalled applications such
as the enhanced BlackBerry Messenger 6.
indicate that in spite of RIM's best efforts, QNX handsets are still likely to
arrive in [the second half of 2012]," he added. "It now appears the Playbook
will not be able to run ported Android apps until late fall, later than
consensus expected. We believe this is a symptom of resources being diverted
from QNX to OS 7."
BlackBerry-branded PlayBook tablet runs a variant of QNX, but it remains to be
seen how the company will modify that operating system for its handset debut.
has watched its market share steadily degrade over the past several quarters.
Recent data from Nielsen suggested that Android held 39 percent of the U.S.
smartphone market in June, followed by Apple's iPhone with 28 percent and RIM
with 20 percent. That's roughly in keeping with earlier data presented by
comScore, which placed Android at 38.1 percent, Apple at 26.6 percent and RIM
at 24.7 percent.
"RIM needs to
focus on how to show why their enterprise-class capabilities are the way to
go," Ray Wang, principal analyst of the Constellation Research Group, wrote in
a July 28 email to eWEEK
. The key to
future success will be figuring out "how they can take a consumer innovation
and make it enterprise class ... safe, secure, simple, sexy, sustainable,
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