RIM Could Launch Next-Generation Phone Without Corporate BlackBerry E-Mail


With five new BlackBerry 7 models set to appear later this month, all eyes are turning to Research in Motion’s next trick: the addition of the QNX operating system featured on the Playbook tablet to RIM’s BlackBerry smartphone lineup. That will be a huge leap for the company once it makes its debut, but according to a new report, it might leave one of RIM’s biggest assets behind.

BGR reports Monday that the BlackBerry Colt will be the first device to use the QNX operating system, but due to the complexity of rewriting the BlackBerry Enterprise Server code for that new operating system, the first QNX smartphone won’t support versions of the BES code that companies are currently running to manage e-mail. That means that just like the Playbook, the first BlackBerry Colt users at companies running BES won’t be able to get their corporate e-mail on the device without another application or workaround unless their IT department upgrades to a new version of BES that would ostensibly support QNX.

If this is true (and to be fair to RIM (NSDQ: RIMM), this device isn’t expected for at least six months), it’s a little stunning that RIM can’t find a way to make the transition between the tried-and-true BlackBerry experience that is corporate e-mail and the functionality and modern design that comes along with QNX. One of RIM’s greatest strengths is its corporate base of users, but if those corporate users can’t depend on your new product for the most basic function they require, they simply aren’t going to buy it.

The Colt will also supposedly come with a single-core processor, which by the time the phone is expected to arrive next year could look a bit slow compared to other options on the market. BGR says the phone is on track for the first quarter of 2012, which is roughly in line with expectations set by company executives.

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