RIM's BlackBerry Dakota will run BlackBerry OS 6, according to a new report, suggesting that the porting of the PlayBook tablet's OS onto smartphones is still far away.
Research In Motion's BlackBerry Dakota will launch with
BlackBerry OS 6.1, according to rumors. That suggests the company's plan to
port the PlayBook tablet's QNX-based operating system to smartphones is still
far in the future.
RIM's 7-inch PlayBook will be the vanguard of an aggressive
strategy to bolster the company's position in the mobile space, where it faces
fierce competition from the likes of Google Android and Apple's iOS. Instead of
porting the recently developed BlackBerry OS 6 onto the tablets, however, RIM
made the decision to craft an all-new operating system from software assets
acquired during its April 2010 takeover of QNX Software Systems from Harman
Images purportedly of the BlackBerry Dakota, combining a
physical QWERTY keyboard with a touch-screen, have circulated around the Web
for several quarters. On Jan. 13, the blog Boy
Genius Report offered an "exclusive" photo of the smartphone
, along with a
full specs breakdown. In addition to a 5-megapixel camera, 4GB of built-in
storage, 2.8-inch VGA capacitive touch-screen, 3G mobile hotspot, and proximity
sensor, the report claimed the Dakota would launch with "BlackBerry OS 6.1."
For some months, RIM executives have suggested that the
PlayBook's QNX operating system will find its way onto smartphones, while
declining to offer a definitive timeframe. According to IntoMobile.com
, an unnamed RIM vice
president suggested to a breakfast audience at last September's BlackBerry
Developer Conference in San Francisco that
QNX would take a significant amount of time to appear on BlackBerry devices
For developers, the QNX operating system's open-source roots
could make it attractive as an application-development platform. And for
BlackBerry users, its ability to support a more powerful processor and graphics
could prove beneficial as smartphones become more advanced in coming years.
"Rather than seeing a less-capable device (the smartphone)
donating its OS to a more-capable device (the tablet), the more-capable device
will lead the way," Ken Hyers, an analyst with Technology Business Research,
told eWEEK in September. "When the BlackBerry gets the QNX OS, the OS will have
been extensively field-tested on the tablet, meaning that smartphone customers
will not have to put up with buggy software that hasn't been properly tested."
While eWEEK was given only a few minutes' worth of hands-on
PlayBook at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
, the tablet seemed
powerful enough to multitask a handful of applications without stutter or
slowdown. In addition, the PlayBook offers full HTML5 and Adobe Flash 10.1
support, along with dual cameras for video conferencing.
But it may be some time before that system finds its way
onto a smaller device.