RBC: BlackBerry 7 phones won't help RIM's image; first QNX phone to be 'mini-PlayBook'

Research In Motion will sell at least 22 million BlackBerry 7 smartphones in fiscal 2012, accounting for a minimum of 40% of its unit sales according to RBC. In a note to investors on Wednesday, RBC Capital Markets MD Mike Abramsky said that RIM will launch seven new BlackBerry 7 devices this year, representing the vendor’s largest product cycle ever. While the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor will be release its new phones across more than 225 carriers around the world, Abramsky notes that consumer adoption is still a huge question mark. RBC’s EPS estimates for RIM’s fiscal 2012 range from $4.75 (9% below Wall Street’s consensus) to $6.00 (16% above the Street) depending on user uptake and average selling prices. Regardless of performance, however, the analyst notes that “BlackBerry 7 is unlikely to reverse deeply negative investor sentiment over RIM’s future, pending improved visibility to success or failure of pending QNX handsets expected 2012.” On QNX, Abramsky says the first smartphone to launch with RIM’s OS of the future will look like a “mini-PlayBook.” He believes the phone will hit the market in the first quarter of calendar 2012, and it will feature a 4-inch touchscreen display, dual cameras and a dual-core processor. BGR on Tuesday reported that RIM’s first QNX phone carries the codename “Colt,” and current test units sport a single-core CPU though the phone may feature a dual-core processor at launch. Abramsky also notes that RIM’s first QNX phone will feature a standalone email client and RIM’s Android app player at launch, and these items will be available for the PlayBook in the coming months.

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