RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis confirmed what reports earlier have leaked: that the PlayBook's QNX software will eventually replace the BlackBerry OS on the company's smartphones.
Research In Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis
confirmed that the company's BlackBerry smartphones will eventually run the
QNX-based operating system poised to debut on the company's BlackBerry PlayBook
"By focusing on the tablet market, we see an opportunity to free where
the smartphone can go," Lazaridis said at the San Francisco D: Dive Into
Mobile conference Dec. 7, according to Reuters
"When we have multicore processors across the board, they'll all be
running the PlayBook platform."
Lazaridis didn't, however, offer a timeframe for when the switch will occur.
RIM acquired the QNX software earlier this year from Harman, which had
deployed a version of it, as audio and "infotainment" systems, in
millions of vehicles. That the software would become the basis of the
BlackBerry line, replacing the recently released BlackBerry 6-or, more likely
with time BlackBerry 7-was first
reported by IntoMobile.com in late September
. At a breakfast event during
the BlackBerry Developer Conference, an unnamed RIM vice president disclosed
that the switch would happen eventually.
view images of the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, click here.
After some delays, RIM is scheduled to launch its PlayBook-a competitor to
the Apple iPad, though with an enterprise angle-during the first quarter of
2011. The device, however, seems to still be receiving some last-minute
polishing, as on Dec. 2 RIM announced that it had purchased
Swedish software developer The Astonishing Tribe (TAT)
to enhance the
tablet's user interface design.
According to TAT, its Cascade UI framework has contributed to 20 percent of
the smartphones that shipped in 2010, and in a post on the Inside BlackBerry
blog, RIM CTO David Yach enthused that "TAT
focuses on delivering great user experiences, from a design, technology and
Joining RIM in the competition to steal tablet market share from Apple will
be Samsung, which plans to make its Galaxy Tab available through 140 carriers
globally, including the four top U.S.
wireless carriers. With an excellent head start, Samsung confirmed Dec. 3 that
it has already sold 1 million of the devices. (In October, Apple announced that
it had sold 4.19 million iPads during its fiscal fourth quarter, which was up
from 3.27 million the quarter before.)
Dell currently offers a 5-inch tablet called the Streak, and will soon begin
offering a 7-inch version, and sometime next year Hewlett-Packard will offer a
tablet running Palm's WebOS platform. (Jon Rubinstein recently explained that
there's still debate about whether the Palm name will remain, or future devices
will be branded as HP.)
Research firm Gartner, in an October research note, predicted that sales of
tablets will reach 19.4 million units in 2010, before climbing to 54.7 million
in 2011, 103.4 million in 2012 and 208 million in 2014.
"As media tablets move from early adopters to mainstream, media tablets
will become a family purchase as well as a personal one," stated the
report. "The touch user interface, the applications available on the
different operating systems and the simpler setup compared to a full-fledged
computer make media tablets ideal for a range of consumers, from power users to
While RIM has not disclosed sales estimates for the PlayBook, reports
Reuters, analysts have put the figure at between 2 million and 4 million units.