RIM's next BlackBerry, loaded with the company's upcoming BBX operating system, has possibly been revealed in a leaked image posted by The Verge.
In Motion's first BlackBerry with a QNX-based operating system feature a
dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 8-megapixel rear camera, an ultra-thin body, and a
touch-screen sans physical QWERTY keyboard?
If a leaked
device image published on The Verge
is accurate, along with the associated specs, then the upcoming smartphone will
indeed feature all these things. Supposedly code-named London and due to arrive
on store shelves in June 2012, the publication reports the device is "roughly
the same size as a Galaxy S II." The smartphone in the photo features a user
interface certainly reminiscent of RIM's PlayBook tablet, which also features a
QNX-based operating system, although The
Verge cautious that "it's likely the screen is nothing more than a static
It remains to
be seen whether the device, if actually hardware produced by RIM, turns out to
be a one-off prototype or an actual indicator of the BlackBerry's future
direction. Its silver frame and hard edges represent something of a deviation
from RIM's current design language, which tends to emphasize black plastic and
RIM plans on
replacing its long-running BlackBerry OS with that QNX-based operating system,
termed "BBX," sometime within the next few quarters. RIM hopes an upcoming generation
of "superphones" running BBX will help the company regain traction as a viable
competitor to Apple's iOS, Google Android and Windows Phone.
offered precious few details about BBX's user interface. According to an Oct.
18 statement released by the company, the operating system will "support
applications developed using any of the tools available today for the
BlackBerry PlayBook ... including native SDK, Adobe AIR/Flash and WebWorks/HTML5,
as well as the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps." That suggests BBX will
interoperate with RIM's PlayBook tablet.
RIM also plans
on delivering a long-awaited software update to the PlayBook in February 2012.
According to the company, additions will include integrated email, a "new video
store," calendar and contact applications, and better tethering between the
tablet and a user's BlackBerry. RIM is also tweaking the device's manageability
options and enterprise application deployment, with plans for a separate area
within BlackBerry App World for enterprise applications.
Nielsen estimated RIM's share of the U.S. smartphone market at 18 percent
through August, behind both Google Android (43 percent) and Apple iOS (28
percent) but well ahead of Microsoft (8 percent).
Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter
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.