updated 11:50 am EDT, Mon August 8, 2011
BlackBerry Colt with QNX seen shipping early 2012
A possibly major scoop Monday has shed light on what could be RIM's first phone using the QNX platform from the PlayBook. So far known as the BlackBerry Colt, the long promised device would fall short of RIM's repeated claims of having a "superphone" through lower performance. BGR's source understood that attempts to maintain the BlackBerry's reputation for battery life meant the Colt would still go with a single-core processor where most of its competitors will have dual- or even quad-core processors when it ships.
Companies hoping to use it for their workers right away would also be disappointed. The Colt's OS isn't expected to ship with support for current BlackBerry Enterprise Servers and would have to use regular Microsoft Exchange to get mail, defeating one of the points of a BlackBerry for work. A version of BES optimized for QNX was coming but wouldn't be ready on time.
Corroborating RIM's own words, the Colt would ship sometime in early 2012. The Canadian company is reportedly "well into the testing process" and may easily reach its target.
The early limitations could be risky for RIM but reflect a series of delays in getting its new mobile platform completely ready. Repeated leaks have pointed to a major necessary rework of mail support that has both led to the delay in native mail on the PlayBook and to the absence of QNX phones in 2011. BlackBerry 7 devices like the Torch 9860 are to some extent considered stopgaps.
The OS does promise to give the BlackBerry a more modern platform. Along with more touch-native aspects, it should be very efficient in multitasking and address gaming and media in a way that BlackBerry 7 currently lacks.