RIM’s first QNX-based smartphone, the BlackBerry Colt, may be released in early 2012. This will have the traditional BlackBerry design, but will run a phone-oriented version of the operating system that’s on RIM’s PlayBook tablet.
The Colt, which may not be the final release name for the smartphone, is currently in testing with RIM’s software verification team. RIM’s engineers must rewrite Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) to support QNX, however due to the current issues in doing so, sources say the Colt may launch without BES compatibility. Instead, the first QNX-based smartphone will launch with support for Microsoft’s ActiveSync, providing enterprise users with access to push email on their handset.
The report also indicates that the Colt will be powered by a 1GHz single-core processor, though RIM may upgrade to a dual-core processor prior to launch to keep pace with the competition. While the company continues its progress in switching from BlackBerry OS to QNX OS, the PlayBook is the only RIM device to currently run QNX.
RIM’s overhaul of the BlackBerry operating system comes at a trying time for the company, as it continues to drop in the ranks as the top handset maker in the world. Though the company recently announced its new lineup of BlackBerry 7 devices, RIM’s transition to QNX-based devices could make it an industry leader once again.