RIM’s hard at work trying to get their first QNX-powered BlackBerry smartphone out the door for early next year. Word has it that the device currently in testing is only running on a single-core processor (not two, as it may ultimately have at launch), and doesn’t support RIM’s signature BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Apparently it’s been hard getting QNX and BES to play nice together, as evidenced by the lack of stand-alone e-mail and other personal productivity apps on the PlayBook tablet. The competing enterprise-grade standard, ActiveSync, will apparently work out of the box, however. The phone currently in testing is code-named Colt, which we can only assume is the high-end all-touch device that has previously been hinted at by RIM.
I’m curious to see if RIM manages to squeeze in a new dual-core processor before launch, but that seems like one of those important parts that needs to be set pretty early on in the testing phase. Although it’s bizarre to imagine a BlackBerry without BES support, I’m sure that’s one of those things that will be ready for launch. Considering the PlayBook has gone this long without any proper BES controls however, I worry that it will continue to be a thorn in RIM’s side which ultimately causes delays in their first QNX devices.
The sad fact is, RIM needs dual-core smartphones yesterday, not in six months. If the latest batch of OS 7 BlackBerry handsets really won’t be upgradeable to QNX, RIM will have even less lee-way with consumers that are looking at a ton of viable alternatives from Android, iOS, and even Windows Phone. What would RIM’s first QNX phone need to have to re-establish BlackBerry as a leader in the wireless game? Is it too late for them to turn things around?