RIM made an unprecedented move earlier this week when it gave away pre-production BlackBerry 10 hardware to developers, but it was a smart one. In order to develop for a brand new operating system and help grow develop support for a new platform, you need to be able to test on real hardware. Since this isn’t the phone that RIM will launch in the fall, there’s no issue letting the public see the hardware, right? Well, there’s more to the story.More →
We already reported that the BlackBerry Colt — the handset that was originally intended to be the Research In Motion’s first BlackBerry 10 smartphone — had been cancelled. Now, we have heard from multiple sources that the BlackBerry Milan that leaked last month was in fact was never a QNX smartphone, but a BlackBerry 7 device with a slightly different design identity. Regardless, the Milan has been cancelled as well. We’re told carriers balked at the idea of carrying a BlackBerry 7 phone so similar to the BlackBerry Torch at this point in time. The only phone RIM is working on bringing to market right now is the BlackBerry London. We have been told that RIM is currently shopping the London with carriers, and while it still looks very much like the image published by The Verge in November, there have been some slight design changes made. Lastly, we got word that when representatives from Porsche Design showed up to RIM’s headquarters to check out the progress the company was making on the designed by Porsche BlackBerry 9900-series phone for the first time, “it was a complete disaster.”
2011 was a huge year for the wireless industry. Global mobile connections surpassed 6 billion as the world’s total population hit 7 billion people, and worldwide smartphone penetration is now approaching 10%. In the United States, smartphone penetration has now topped 44% as converged, connected devices continue to flood the market across all age ranges. The rapid growth in the smartphone space can be attributed for the most part to two platforms, Android and iOS, and other companies continue to struggle to gain or even maintain their ground in a market that is expanding faster than it ever has before. Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS is heralded as a breath of fresh air but significant sales still elude the company’s vendor partners. On the other side of the coin, age finally caught up with Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS and smartphone users are becoming increasingly disinterested in a platform that was once the most desirable mobile experience in the world. More →
We’ve just heard from a trusted source that the dummy device The Verge posted an image of earlier today is indeed a real BlackBerry, and it should in fact launch as the company’s first BBX-based smartphone. Our source told us that the BlackBerry Colt, the first QNX-based handset RIM had been working on that looked just like a smaller PlayBook, was scrapped in favor of the BlackBerry London. In terms of release timing, it’s looking like the London is slated to launch some time in the third quarter next year, possibly late in the quarter. Remember, RIM still has not been able to get BES or BBM working on BBX devices — probably the only two features BlackBerry phones are still known for these days — so launch details are anything but firm right now.
Speaking with PCMag recently, RIM’s vice president of developer relations and ecosystem development Alec Saunders said that the company’s early BBX-powered smartphones will not resemble the popular BlackBerry Bold form factor. The first BBX devices will instead look like smaller versions of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and will come equipped with screens sporting a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 1024 x 600-pixel resolution. Saunders also said the first BBX phones will support BlackBerry Enterprise Server. BGR’s exclusively reported in August that the Waterloo, Canada-based company was building a special version of BES for its new BBX devices. According to rumors, RIM is rushing to get the BlackBerry Colt out of the door in light of BlackBerry 7 device sales that have reportedly underwhelmed, and it is expected to make its debut during the first quarter of next year.
Research In Motion is said to be rushing its first QNX-powered smartphone to market in light of underwhelming BlackBerry 7 devices sales. In a note to investors on Friday, Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek suggested demand for RIM’s new smartphones is not meeting expectations. An earlier report indicated that sales to enterprise customers have been solid thus far, while consumer demand may be lacking. Misek’s checks indicate that sales of BackBerry 7 phones to carriers is “just okay,” while sales of older BlackBerry smartphones continues to decline. The analyst believes follow up orders from carriers will also fall short of expectations, and RIM’s quarterly earnings could take a hit as a result. Read on for more. More →
Things are changing in Waterloo. The summer is drawing to an end and Research In Motion is in the very early stages of the biggest BlackBerry device launch of the brand’s storied history. BlackBerry 7 smartphones — which include new Bold models, Curve models and Torch models — will be sold by more than 225 carriers around the world this year and into 2012. But RIM’s BlackBerry 7 device launch is also significant for another reason, of course: it is the end of an era. More →
Despite Research In Motion’s largest-ever global launch currently underway with BlackBerry 7 phones, RIM may be rushing to get its first QNX-powered smartphone out the door ahead of schedule. Dutch website Tweakers.net cites anonymous sources in claiming RIM is aiming to launch the BlackBerry Colt later this year instead of in the first quarter of 2012 as expected. BGR exclusively revealed the BlackBerry Colt as RIM’s first QNX device earlier this month, and we said internal prototypes of the phone currently feature a single-core processor. Our source also suggested that future Colt owners would require a new version of BES as the device will be incompatible with current versions of RIM’s enterprise system. Tweakers.net reaffirmed our report that the Colt’s chipset only sports one core, and the site pegs its clock speed at 1.2GHz. The report also claims that the QNX phone will feature a 4.3-inch touchscreen with what should be RIM’s highest-ever smartphone display resolution. No other new details were provided in the report, and little else is known at this time. More →
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.
While Research In Motion just recently announced its new BlackBerry 7 device lineup — including the fantastic BlackBerry Bold 9900 — we all know that the real-deal smartphones are still in the oven. What everyone is waiting on from RIM is the company’s QNX-based devices, which we hope will make RIM competitive in the smartphone industry once again. BGR has learned exclusive details surrounding the first QNX smartphone RIM intends to release, which is codenamed the BlackBerry Colt, and it looks like there are already going to be some compromises the company will have to make in order to launch the smartphone on schedule. Hit the break for all the details we have so far. More →