updated 11:15 am EST, Thu December 22, 2011
RIM may be stalling for OS development time
Potentially damaging rumors emerged Thursday that RIM's decision to delay BlackBerry 10 phones until late 2012 was actually the company buying time for an unfinished OS. One of BGR's "most trusted sources" claimed that it has little to do with waiting for the needed dual-core, LTE-equipped chip and more with the unfinished state of the OS. The publicly available version of the PlayBook 2.0 OS was representative of what BlackBerry 10 looked like, with no e-mail or BlackBerry Messenger.
RIM was supposedly still having problems getting BB10 working with its push data system. In its current state, it wasn't "even as good as iPhone OS 1.0 or Android 2.0," according to the tip.
Separately, Electronista can vouch for the state of the OS, albeit from several weeks ago. At least one senior staffer at RIM carrying a prototype phone is known to have had a device that amounted to a smaller PlayBook, even including the resolution. It was early enough that RIM hadn't scaled the resolution down to smartphone size and was effectively running the PlayBook's interface on a smaller screen. It may not have represented the latest state of the platform.
The rumors haven't been corroborated by RIM and may see the situation change rapidly even if true. RIM has been showing native e-mail on the PlayBook and clearly has it working on a basic level, if not necessarily in BlackBerry 10. Officially, the tablet's revamp comes in or near February.
Many consider the delays for both platforms to represent the last it can realistically offer before the company is written off from competition. The PlayBook's update will be coming about 10 months after the tablet launched and eight months after the originally promised schedule. With the BlackBerry 10 hardware not even showing for the first half of 2012, RIM could leave a large window for Apple, Samsung, and other majors to offer higher-end hardware or at least take market share from older-feeling BlackBerry 7 devices.