Rumour: RIM to release the QNX-based BlackBerry Colt Q1 2012

Ian Hardy

August 8, 2011 11:30am


This might put a kink in the RIM plan. It’s been known that the next generation of BlackBerry devices, not these upcoming OS 7 smartphones, but the ones that will be released with their QNX platform will be released next year. RIM acquired QNX back in April of 2010 and this is the OS that’s currently powering their BlackBerry PlayBook.

RIM’s Carlo Chiarello, VP of GSM/UMTS business unit recently stated that “The reality is that our teams have done a phenomenal job in such a short period of time to do what they’re doing on PlayBook… That [QNX] experience is going to start to come in to our high tier products. I can’t tell you when; I’m not allowed to. But it’s absolutely part and parcel of what we’re working on now… I can tell you that it’s going to come in to the higher tier value propositions first. It’ll probably come into an all-touch first, more than likely… but I can’t tell you timings specifically. But it looks marvellous!”.

News today from BGR with details of RIM’s first QNX based smartphone. Apparently pegged with a release date for Q1 2012 the current codename is the BlackBerry Colt. BGR notes that internal testing has already started and the device is rumoured to come with a 1GHz single-core processor and will also have a newly created QNX-based BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The above is a mock up but it’ll probably be similar in design with its chrome bezel, QWERTY keyboard. No word if the display will be a touchscreen or if it supports NFC.

Would you wait for the new QNX-based BlackBerry smartphone or pick up the Bold 9900, Torch 9810 or Torch 9860?

Source: BGR

  • Unknown

    I will wait next year to buy a blackberry phone, but I am not sure which one to get though.

  • strikerx

    this is wat we wanted!!! 2012 might be RIM’s year

  • Dimitri

    Honestly i will buy the new bold & buy this one also. Sucks they could not have put QNX in this years models.

  • KidCanada

    Just in time for my upgrade. Can’t wait for this!!! :D

  • Ryan

    If this was a bit more confident of a rumour I would probably wait. My contract is up in January, meaning I’m eligible to get a new 3-years now. If I knew this was coming in January or February I would definitely wait. But if it comes more like April, or in the usual fashion of these rumours more like August, then I don’t see waiting. Unless the rumour mill becomes more concrete on this fast, I’ll be grabbing a 9900 the day it releases for Telus.

  • Alex Perrier

    BlackBerry what!?

    • Alex Perrier

      Why is it called the “Colt”?

    • bob

      Because RIM is shooting itself in the foot with this device.

      1GHz single core, seriously? In 2012? Wasn’t QNX supposed to be for their high end devices?

    • Jake

      Don’t listen to the Shitty rumours from BGR. Geller is just trying to stir the s**t AGAIN.
      RIM has already stated that the new QNX phones will be released on dual core processors like or better than the one in the PlayBook.

      Fuckin BGR didn’t even get the picture right… the new QNX phones will be touch screen only, no physical keyboard for the first devices.

  • KidCanada

    P.S: I hope it comes with flash as well then I’m all set with blackberry :D

  • MXM4K

    I think the QNX based devices will be well worth the wait.

    Say what you will about the Playbook and whatever features it may have or lack, the system itself is stable and super smooth. As long as the power efficiency is taken into account, I think QNX phones will make a big splash in terms of user experience and performance.

    It already looks promising that the rumors state that the first model will sport a single core 1Ghz cpu. If it can run smooth and perform most tasks without the need of a ton of computing horsepower, I think RIM will have a winner.

  • Cory

    I personally don’t like the os of the blackberry playbook. I prefer the blackberry 6 os the most :) I don’t know why, but I do.

  • JL

    Wait a second. Didn’t Lazaradis insist that QNX was not possible without a dual-core processor? What is going on here? Not to mention that they acted like the technology didn’t exist when the Atrix and Optimus 2X were coming out, but now not even using a dual core? Why would you make consumers wait a year and release a bunch of DOA phones (which look quite nice actually and if they released them last year RIM wouldn’t be in as much trouble)?

    It can’t be single core. That would be retarded.

    • Fatz

      I don’t think they acted like the technology didn’t exist, but rather the battery life to sustain a dual-core processing was poor and would not last the entire day. BlackBerry’s are known for great battery life and I can certainly understand why that would be a concern for RIM. I’m no expert in this stuff, but I would imagine if the code is written effectively, a single-core processor would be fine…but these are merely rumours and anything can change. I’m hoping for dual-core but also great battery life.

    • Rio

      Not all operating systems need a Dual core to run smoothly.

      RIM and Apple make both the phone and the os, therefore can better integrate the OS with the hardware. This in the end provides a similar experience with less of the power required.

      Android phones REquire the dual core to run smoothly because the OS is not written specifically for that phone. Google simply has a base code for all phones made by the different manufactures

    • aka

      I agree that the QNX ‘higher-tier’ super phones should be dual-cores. The industry is moving that way, why do you think Android is selling so well? It’s because of these exotic hardware. No, not because Android needs it, even a single-core 1GHz is fine for day-to-day operations. The only reason why phones are laggy is due to the limited RAM, not the single-core 1GHz processor speeds. Anyone worth a dime in the computer industry knows that having enough RAM is very important for system performance.

      As for the battery life issue, if Samsung can squeeze in a dual-core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM and a Li-Ion 1650 mAh battery in a phone thickness of 8.5mm, I don’t see how RIM can’t top that in their 11.5mm thick BB Torch 9860, but instead RIM decided to stick with a single-core 1.2GHz processor, 768MB of RAM and a Li-Ion 1230 mAh battery instead. They could easily install more than 1700 mAh battery with that much room to spare, thereby solving the battery life issue on dual-core processors.

      @Rio – “Not all operating systems need a Dual core to run smoothly.”

      RIM’s web browser experience has improved drastically with webkit in Torch9800, but is slower in speed comparison to Androids or WP7’s browser, so I would argue that BB needs more power, and more RAM wouldn’t hurt either.

      Samsung S II currently is king in benchmark performance on top of having to run Android you speak of. I doubt even RIM’s 1.2GHz processor running OS7 can come near the S II in pure benchmark performance. Just to give you an idea, the HTC Thunderbolt runs on the same 1.2GHz single-core scores about 1900 in Quadrant vs Samsung S II 1.2GHz dual-core scoring on average over 3300 in Quadrant.

      Now given the choice of 1650 mAh battery and 1.2GHz dual-core vs 1230 mAh 1.2GHz single-core, I chose the dual-core one every time.

    • Jake

      Relax and look at the source of this “rumour”.
      BGR. I didn’t think anyone still went on that site. meh.

  • kad

    they really should announce compatibility with the bold 9900 for future upgradability

    there is NO technical reason not to do it

    they really should because it is their last chance

    • Steve Dion

      I agree, in fact if the 9900 would be upgradable AND support Activsync i would actually be VERY interested in getting one.

  • Matt

    Dual-core phones are popping up everywhere now, yet Rim is still lagging a year behind the curve. (no pun intended.)

  • Nasir

    Yeah I don’t understand why these OS7 devices would not be upgraded if this new QNX “SUPERPHONE” is going to be single core.

    I highly doubt the QNX would be single core. That makes no sense.

    • Ion

      getting students and developers to understand a whole new operating system is hard but take pride in the fact that there will be no OS8 last time i talked to friends so your QNX is approaching at some speed

  • Sean

    So their going from a 1.2 ghz in the 9900 and their going to put a 1 ghz in the 10000? so their actually taking a step down in the hardware ?

    I admit come 2012 i expect every phone to be coming out with dual core processors

  • Iki

    I have high hopes for a QNX-powered BlackBerry phone. I like what they’ve done with the PlayBook OS. However, for RIM, speed to market is key. With all the other major players releasing phones quite frequently, RIM will need to release a QNX on time.

  • aka

    Funny how RIM position the QNX for their all-touch “higher tier” super phones, then have the gulls to mention it being single-core 1GHz. So what does that make the BB Torch9810/9860 with Qualcomm MSM8655 1.2GHz, a super-duper phone? lol. Oh wait, it only runs on OS7, so that’s it..

    RIM should concentrate on selling more OS7 products now, by promising their upgradeability to QNX when it’s released, rather than count on a hardware refresh later. All this announcement does is reduce potential sales and giving consumers reasons to wait and see what their QNX offering will be like in Q1’12.

    There’s no reason why the OS7 devices can’t run QNX, unless QNX is somehow tied to only running on TI’s OMAP processors, like the one in the PlayBook. What would be really interesting is if they manage to put in the same TI’s OMAP 4430 1GHz dual-core into the new QNX phones..we can only dream at this point..

  • eh0K

    If the RIM VP said “it’ll probably come into an all-touch first, more than likely”, then why have a photo of a Bold with a playbook screenshot?

    • Jake

      Because it’s BGR and they don’t edit the rumours they think up.

  • jack

    to the people who say u dont need dual core, ur right u probably dont, but when u price your phones the same price as a dual core phone, then yes u do.

    paying the same for less is never good business

    • Dimitri

      Its the service provider that puts those prices. Do you’re research. Rim, Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericcson & the rest give suggestions. Apple puts the prices up & leaves them at what they are. Why do providers put every other manufacturers phones less after a while but not Apples ones? Think about it. Service providers are f*****g us over not the Manufactures Why do you think apple ph Rogers, Telus, Bell, Fido, Virgin, Mobilicity, Public mobile & the rest put the phones on what they want the price to be.

    • aka

      @ Dimitri

      Wrong, your opinion does not count as facts. The facts are all MSRP is set by the manufacturers (obviously), the carriers bid and pay the manufacturers for hardware acquisition. Sometimes they bid more for hardware exclusivity or whatever is left to choose from. They agree on pricing for the number of units purchased, if the hardware doesn’t sell well, it would be up to the carriers to promote sales to clear inventory, otherwise lose money on the initial product purchase. Carriers sell them less than unlocked versions, the hardware subsidy is up to the carriers to decide, through direct competition, based on market conditions.

      Misconception is that carriers make money off the hardware sales, even if you buy full MSRP, they will only make money back for the manufacturing cost of the hardware, but not the money they bid on acquiring the hardware. So the carriers lose money for every full price hardware you buy from them. The hope is that once you buy their hardware, they will generate revenue based on your monthly service subscriptions, that’s why manufacturers provide carrier lock in their products. Subsidized phones takes longer time to recuperate the cost of acquisition of client, COA of hardware from manufacturer.

      Apple likes to control everything, so their condition for carriers selling their products must follow their strict pricing guidelines.

  • Terry_in_Halifax

    So, what’s in it for me?
    Bought a 9800 09/2010 and looking at 9810.

    I want a device that opens a website fast or dials into TelNav faster. What does QNX do for me besides have me upgrade twice in 4 months?

    • Jake

      You won’t be upgrading twice in four months.
      There will not likely be a QNX powered Torch slider like yours until at least 2013.
      The new touch screen only QNX powered Superphone will sell along side OS7 phones for well over a year. Don’t let BGR scare you into thinking you should pass up the OS7 devices in the hopes that a QNX Bold or Torch slider is just around the corner.

      RIM has made it clear that the first QNX phone will be touch only (kind of like a mini PlayBook). I can see OS7 running on the Curve for the next 3-5 years.

  • Unkskrypted

    this is why i love my job… no waiting for me! :) i’m getting a 9900 then whatever super-duper qnx device drops, granted that it’s a qwerty keyboard form factor, i can’t see myself using a full-touchscreen blackberry

  • bbslave

    They should just make a firmware update of the QNX OS available in 2012 that is compatible with the new BB9900.

  • Francis

    This is coming from BGR (Boy Genius Report)… I wouldn’t put much stake in it.

  • Paul Q

    Colt = conceivably our last try.

  • TeknoBug

    I like how it’s a 9900 with a photoshop job of a PlayBook screenshot pasted ontop… damn BGR, I’ll wait until RIM actually announces it, I don’t believe much of what comes from BGR and Endgadget.

  • ELNY

    RIM’s genious business plan to become #1 again:
    – Release a bunch of devices in Q3 2011 that run OS7 but are specced as 2010 phones.
    -Announce new QNX based phones for Q1 2012 but are specced worse than their Q3 2011 phones.
    -Make no official announcement or promises that their latest devices can run QNX to help settle any fears.
    -Make no push into persuading carriers to keep their phone prices at more reasonable rates rather than $249.99 on a 3yr term.

    Wow….never seen a company fail so hard like that. Sad.

  • astudent

    I am willing to give this a chance because I got a windows phone when everyone said it was “too late” for them to enter the race. I still honestly feel iOS, Android and Wp7 are much better platforms for the mobile ecosystem, however competition is just awesome! Let them compete…better for us.

  • Anonymous

    Lol @ RIM, a single core device is not exactly revolutionary.
    There are already rumors of quad core android tablets/devices coming next year. How is a device like this suppose to even compete like that, especially if these QNX devices are to run Android apps like the playbook (eventually) is suppose to.

    Hopefully the 1 GHz single core is a joke, my nexus S has that and the phone came out more than 6 months ago in the states.

  • brent0007

    Those who are about to purchase the OS 7 devices, i really suggest that you wait a few months and save your money for the QNX devices.

    I have a feeling that these OS 7 devices are going to end up like the bold 9700 forgotten, and waiting months to get the new update (if at all). When they do get it, its going to be filled with bugs and extremely slow.

    I got a bold 9700 last November, OS 6 came out a few weeks later. I waited till the end of February and finally got OS 6. It was filled with bugs and it was slow as hell. My device didn’t even have enough ram to load web pages on OS 6.

    I dont even want to ask if OS 7 is coming to the bold 9700, so glad that i sold that phone on ebay and got myself a Nexus S. Now im always getting updates, and i don’t have to wait for pathetic service providers to approve them. I am also assured that i will continue to get them for a long time coming, (the nexus one is still getting updates)

  • kad

    give me reliable and upgraded over quad or dual core anytime please!

  • BB User

    I will and I am waiting for it. I am not going to use my upgrade on the OS7. Not with QNX so close.

  • The deej

    I’m not exactly sure what QNX is.

    • aka

      @The deej – “I’m not exactly sure what QNX is.”

      Think BlackBerry playbook, shrunk down to a handset size, potentially with a qwerty keyboard. Mind blowing isn’t it?

      In case you’re still under the rock, it’s the new unix-based Operating System RIM acquired recently to replace the current BlackBerry software for next generation products. Now picture the BlackBerry handsets with an emulator inside QNX to run Android apps. Like I said, mind blowing. There’s so much potential for RIM to make a big comeback, hopefully they don’t screw it up with launch delays.

  • Saffant

    @Rio

    Android phones Don’t “REQUIRE” a dual core processor to run smoothly. A lot of phones including, but not limited to, the Nexus S, Xperia Arc run pretty smooth with just a single core processor.

    Also another common misconception is that dualcores use more battery life.

    Face it.. RIM thinks they’re Apple and can set whatever price they want with whatever mediocre level of specs.. They seem to forget that their marketing is nowhere near as good.. neither are their “strategies”.

  • Saffant

    Should be called the BlackBerry ‘Cult’ if that really are the specs..

  • EmperumanV

    A BB that I will actually get.

  • Dread

    Yawn. My sister just got the Samsung SII and wow is freakin’ fast. So by the time this comes out, she and her friends will already be hooked on Android.