RIM's QNX-powered BlackBerry smartphone, code-named "Colt," will make its debut in early 2012, according to the blog Boy Genius Report.
Motion's first QNX-powered BlackBerry will make its debut in the first quarter
of 2012, according to a new report by the blog Boy Genius Report.
On top of
that, the device is apparently code-named "Colt," which tells you everything
you need to know about RIM's hopes: After months and months of executives
talking up the QNX-powered "superphones" in development, anything less than
racehorse-like market performance will come as a considerable blow to the
Aug. 8 report suggested that RIM is hobbling the Colt in two key ways. "The
information we received suggests that the first QNX device out of Research In
Motion will be powered by a single-core processor ... rather than a speedier
multi-core chipset," it read. "It's entirely possible that it could change
ahead of the device's release, our source said, but the internal testing going
on right now is with a single-core chip."
The first QNX
smartphone will also launch without support for the current BlackBerry
Enterprise Server, although RIM is supposedly developing a version for QNX. "If
companies want to use Microsoft Exchange email on the device," BGR added, "they
will actually have to use Microsoft ActiveSync, which the phone will support
out of the box."
If RIM does
manage to release its QNX smartphones in the first quarter of 2012, it'll beat
at least one analyst report that had the devices' debut pegged for late 2012.
"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 include
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.
checks indicate that in spite of RIMM'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.
final form, RIM is clearly relying on those QNX devices to reverse its
declining market share and push back against fierce competition from its
rivals. 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.
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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.