Research In Motion to exit tablet market? (Updated)

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Sep 292011

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookCiting anonymous sources at RIM’s manufacturing partner Quanta, Collins Stewart analyst John Vinh is indicating that Research In Motion may be considering exiting the tablet market after halting BlackBerry PlayBook production. In a research note, he writes:

“While Quanta last week acknowledged that it had laid off a significant number of production workers from a factory focused on producing the PlayBook, our research indicates that the ODM has essentially halted production of the tablet. Additionally, our due diligence indicates that RIMM has canceled development of additional tablet projects.”

After shipping some 500,000 PlayBooks in its debut quarter, RIM only shipped an additional 200,000 units in the second quarter that it has been available.

RIM has not responded to the report.

Update: RIM has now responded, calling the report “pure fiction.” It also added that it “remains highly committed to the tablet market.”

Read more about this story: Original story and RIM’s response

RIM to show off QNX BlackBerry smartphone at BlackBerry DevCon

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Sep 172011

Research In MotionA lot of eyes will be on the upcoming BlackBerry DevCon running from October 18th to October 20th in San Francisco. Not only will RIM preview its upcoming PlayBook 2.0 software but it will also show off prototypes of smartphones running QNX (perhaps the BlackBerry Colt?). According to RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, “The development platform for QNX phones will be presented in more detail at DevCon in October, and prototype phones featuring the QNX operating system and development platform will be available in the not to distant future.”

Despite the pressure to get a QNX-powered smartphone out as quickly as possible in a bid to reverse its flagging fortunes, RIM must also get this first device right (unlike the struggling PlayBook which launched without key features – like native access to e-mail, calendar and contacts). Lazaridis acknowledged this during the financial call that followed RIM’s fiscal Q2 2012 financial results: “The success of the recent BlackBerry launches is an example of our focus on product readiness. If we had rushed the product, we would not have benefited from the positive reception.”

Here’s hoping that the QNX-powered BlackBerry smartphone be the home run that RIM so desperately needs right now…

New QNX BlackBerry smartphone features revealed?

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Sep 052011

Research In MotionNew rumours have detailed some alleged new features that will turn up on QNX-powered BlackBerry smartphones next year.

N4BB has learned that RIM has separated the network software stack from the rest of the QNX operating system. The move will make it easier for RIM to swap out network stacks for different carriers with little effect on the rest of the OS. Not only would this reduce the amount of testing required by a carrier but it would also allow RIM to push out other OS updates without requiring carrier validation. BlackBerry Desktop Manager may also disappear as QNX-powered BlackBerry smartphones are expected to support OTA updates (much like the BlackBerry PlayBook already does).

GizmoFusion is reporting that front-facing cameras will also be a new feature for QNX-powered smartphones. With the new camera, RIM will also add video chat capabilities to BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). The site adds that the feature may skip the first QNX BlackBerry device (the rumoured Colt) if it’s not ready on schedule.

Past rumours suggested that QNX-powered BlackBerry smartphones will also be able to run Google Android applications.

It is starting to look like RIM will be able to close the gap on its competition with its QNX smartphones.

Source: N4BB and GizmoFusion

QNX BlackBerry smartphones to be “Android-compatible?”

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Aug 242011

Research In MotionA Bloomberg report indicates that RIM’s upcoming QNX-powered BlackBerry smartphones will be able to run Google Android applications. This report is the first indication that RIM will extend the same functionality it has already promised for its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

Google’s Android Market is about six times larger than that of RIM’s App World. RIM is hoping that having access to it will appeal to customers who have “grown weary of the aging BlackBerry portfolio and its narrower selection of apps.

RIM has yet to launch Android Player for the PlayBook. It’s not clear if it will be ready for the QNX smartphones (including the rumoured BlackBerry Colt) expected in early 2012.

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QNX BlackBerry Colt to be full touchscreen BlackBerry?

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Aug 222011

Research In MotionRumours of the BlackBerry Colt, RIM’s first QNX-powered BlackBerry smartphone surfaced earlier this month. New details have now emerged shedding a bit more light on the device.

According to, the BlackBerry Colt will be a full-touchscreen BlackBerry, even losing the trackpad sported by the upcoming BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860. It will also come with HSPA+ connectivity and a 4.1-inch display. Contrary to earlier rumours, it will be powered by a dual-core processor.

RIM is targeting Q1 2012 for the BlackBerry Colt’s launch.

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Aug 082011

Research In MotionResearch In Motion confirmed as far back as December 2010 that it would eventually port its QNX operating system to BlackBerry smartphones. BGR has learned that the first such device, codenamed the BlackBerry Colt, could launch as early as Q1 2012.

Little is known so far about the BlackBerry Colt. Details so far suggest that it will be powered by a single-core processor (based on current prototypes) although a multi-core processor is not completely ruled out. This aligns with an earlier rumour that suggested that a 1.2GHz single-core processor would be used. That same rumour also suggested it would come with a 4.3-inch display suggesting a slab design like that of the BlackBerry Torch 9860 rather than the more traditional QWERTY-keyboard design.

To go along with the device, RIM is developing a QNX-specific BlackBerry Enterprise Server version, something that is proving to be extremely difficult according to BGR’s source. As a result, the BlackBerry Colt could launch without BES support (Microsoft Activesync would be used to provide Microsoft Exchange support initially)!

RIM is apparently well into internal testing and is targeting Q1 2012 for the BlackBerry Colt’s launch. RIM may also have halted development of a 10-inch PlayBook tablet to focus on the Colt in a bid to meet its timeline.

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RIM halts work on on 10-inch PlayBook in favour of QNX smartphone?

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Jun 282011

Research In Motion

Remember those rumours that RIM was working on a 10-inch version of the PlayBook? While it appears that the rumours were in fact true, it also now looks like RIM has put those plans on hold. is reporting that “the entire 10-inch PlayBook development has been canceled” in favour of its first QNX-powered BlackBerry ‘Superphone.’

Contrary to earlier statements, RIM is apparently considering a 1.2GHz single-core processor (the same as for the BlackBerry Bold 9900) for the the QNX smartphone. A dual-core processor has not been completely ruled out but battery life is a concern. RIM is also looking at a 4.3-inch display running a resolution of 900+ pixels.

The decision to halt development of the 10-inch PlayBook will also allow RIM to focus more on the LTE 4G PlayBook. sources suggest that it will be released in October 2011, echoing statements made by Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis a couple of weeks ago.

There is no word yet on when RIM will launch its first QNX-powered smartphone but it is unlikely to be in 2011.

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