Back at the end of September at the BlackBerry Developer’s Conference, Research in Motion confirmed a rumor started by a company VP stating that QNX, the operating system that will make it’s RIM debut on the BlackBerry Playbook, would eventually replace the BlackBerry OS on BlackBerry devices. The big question in everyone’s mind is how long it will take for this to become the case, and, and if RIM will release a new wave a BlackBerry devices that run possibly an update to BlackBerry 6, or, maybe even BlackBerry 7.
BlackBerry 6 is really just hitting the scene
BlackBerry 6 is really just starting to get its legs under it. It is now offered out of the box on the BlackBerry Torch, the BlackBerry Style, and the BlackBerry Bold 9780 and we know that the BlackBerry Bold 9650, Bold 9700, Curve 3G, and Pearl 3G will eventually be upgradable to BlackBerry 6. One would have to imagine that any unknown, but, soon to be released BlackBerry devices would also run BlackBerry 6, however, the only real rumor of a new BlackBerry anywhere close to being released is the BlackBerry Storm 9570, for which there are as many rumors stating that this device has been scrapped as there are stating that it is coming.
A better question to ask
I can’t fathom that there is a QNX based BlackBerry coming anytime before we are well in to the second half of 2011, and, thus, it seems likely that there will be new BlackBerry devices out before then. Maybe a better question to ask is if the next wave of BlackBerry devices will be seen as lame ducks until a QNX based lineup hits the shelves?
I see no reason to consider recent Blackberry devices as ‘lame ducks’. OS 6 is a significant upgrade and yet many older devices are capable of running this OS with no problem. Likewise I expect that most recent Blackberries will be capable of running QNX. With this in mind I just bought a Blackberry Bold 9780 with the expectation that, with the extra memory on-board, it will be more than QNX ready. I’m keeping my fingers crossed although I would not be upset if that didn’t work out. I am quite happy with OS 6. Anyway, I will be among the first to snap up a Playbook. As it stands my new Bold will serve as an excellent quick, functional messaging device well into the future.
I think that you’ve mischaracterized the point being made at the end…
“Maybe a better question to ask is if the next wave of BlackBerry devices
will be seen as lame ducks until a QNX based lineup hits the shelves?”
The question is if the next wave of BlackBerry devices, if they still run the BB OS will be lame ducks and I think that the answer is probably yes, unless they can be upgraded to QNX.
One another note, fully expecting your 624 MHz Bold to run QNX is kind of cute, but aken to that same Bold being able to run IOS, Windows Phone 7, or Android 2.2 or higher. It seems like a lot of extra memory on board by BlackBerry standards but is half as fast as most Android, Windows Phone 7, and iPhones that came out back in the spring of this year.
To answer this question we need to know when we can expect the QNX based Blackberries (other than tablets) to start coming out. If that’s 6 months from now (in the second quarter of 2011) then we will probably see some more OS 6 devices before that. If QNX based Blackberries will be ready for release in the first quarter then I don’t expect to see any more OS 6 devices.
I don’t expect that any of the current Blackberries to be upgradeable to the QNX based OS especially the Bold and Torch which has an older processor.
I’d say the “lame duck” analogy is appropriate. From a hardware architecture standpoint, the requirements to run QNX OS make for a clear distinction between old and new. I think the chances of ANY BlackBerry currently on market being able to run a QNX-based OS are very near zero. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Considering that BlackBerry hardware is estimated to have approximately a two year development cycle, I’d say yes the chances are very good we will see more BlackBerry 6 devices launching. AND I would say NONE of them will have a QNX upgrade path either. It’s just too different.
What IS highly likely in my book is a whole new lineup of smartphone devices with QNX at their core, with the first wave hitting summer of 2011. I think we’re at the end of the line for the 4 digit model numbering too. In fact we may be at the end of the line for distinctive model numbers at all (had RIM mass marketed the 9800 as anything other than “Torch”?). We will see QNX-based devices in familar hardware families, for example I expect we will see a QNX-based “Pearl”, and “Curve”, and “Bold”, but we may also be at the end of the line for those familiar family names too.
Well, that’s my $.02.
I’m betting another half dozen Curve and Bold clones with the same lame lack of memory and performance before we see anything with QNX. As for QNX BBs, I’m not counting on anything until next Christmas at the earliest.
To me, a more pressing question will be how well will the Playbook QNX OS play with the Torch 6.0 OS? Clearly RIM has indicated that the Playbook will pair with an existing Blackberry smart-phone (and the ads usually show the Torch in pairing proximity to the Playbook). Of course, it remains to be seen how well it all hangs together, but if the pairing works and you can use the Torch keypad to enter text on the Playbook, and if you can use the Torch’s 3G capabilities to link up on a Playbook, than it won’t matter that much to me, since I am happy with the 6.0 OS as it is. But you would think that subsequent QNX-based handhelds would be a neater fit in working with the Playbook. How will the Playbook impact the Torch in terms of memory usage and/or battery drain?
Hi, reading some of the comments above on QNX OS my guess would be that it would be able to run on most of the BBOS 6 devices being a micro kernel architecture compared to other competing OSs such as iOS or Android with a large footprint. I expect soon there will be “leaked” versions of QNX OS shown running on current devices!