The future for Blackberry several years back was just starting to look shaking and they were starting to work on the future Blackberry tablet which came to be known as the Blackberry PlayBook with a number of great features including the recently purchase QNX OS. While there have been a number of problems with the PlayBook Tablet, most notably the missing native Blackberry Mail, the device is still a great tablet and will show that once they resolve the missing mail issue. They have neglected their all important Blackberry phones for far too long and it is starting to look like a change is coming to correct that. The most recent information is the BBX phones of the future which is tied to the QNX OS and QWERTY less phones.
All of this is coming from PC Magazine and a report that future Blackberry BBX phones will look more like the Blackberry PlayBook than the Blackberry Bold of today. Touch screens will become the norm and the planned screen ratio of 16:9 is to be the same as on the PlayBook making it much easier to have a single OS for the PlayBook and the Blackberry phones. A 1280 by 720 resolution will be rare for a smart phone and set the Blackberry apart from other phones. That is something that Google has been trying to do for years and have succeeded with Ice Cream Sandwich. If RIM can deliver on this in the first half of the year, there is still hope for the company, but it really needs to be sooner.
RIM has been working to add to the developers for the coming BBX phones and they have been successful in adding to the ranks in that area with increasing app development for the Blackberry Playbook. That development will translate directly to the Blackberry BBX phones and provide immediate apps when the phone launches. Apps are the future for Blackberry with the new OS and without a wealth of them at release time, they will face some of the same problems as the Blackberry PlayBook was launched.
On the touch screen front and the loss of the QWERTY keyboard, there are some who are concerned about losing one great feature that they have enjoyed and relied on. It is the loss of the physical keyboard which has them concerned, though RIM has tried to smooth that over by pointing out that the same half screen half keyboard which everyone is familiar with will remain. That may not be enough for the “CrackBerry” users who have made the Blackberry a very
For RIM, all of this is a big gamble and is taking a long time to pull together. The first quarter of 2012 would really be the time to deliver on the BBX phones instead of what is expected to be a second quarter deliver. At that point, Nokia’s Windows Phones will already be on the market in North America and put RIM further behind.
It looks like RIM has a good strategy to move their phones forward to complete with the likes of the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy lines of phones, but they must accelerate the delivery to the first quarter or risk getting too far behind.