Time for Unification: RIM Announces BlackBerry BBX for Smartphones & Tabletsby Anand Lal Shimpi on October 18, 2011 1:12 PM EST
With its PlayBook tablet RIM introduced a brand new mobile platform built on QNX's Neutrino 6.5 OS. The result was an extremely smooth user experience with great multitasking support (reminiscent of webOS) on a platform that simply needed more apps and maturity. At the time, RIM indicated future Blackberry smartphones would be based on a QNX derived OS although this year we only got BlackBerry OS7 devices.
At its developer conference today RIM announced BlackBerry BBX, an upcoming QNX based OS for future BlackBerry smartphones and tablets. It's too early to know when we'll see devices but the obvious assumption is it'll be in 2012.
RIM also released a beta version (2.0) of its PlayBook OS to developers with support for running Android apps, a feature we originally discussed in our PlayBook review.
Today's announcements do signal continued commitment to the market by RIM. Although Apple and Google have done their best to convert BlackBerry users, this is still anyone's game. RIM definitely has a lot of the right pieces in-house (QNX, webkit team, etc...) to make for a serious revival in the mobile market, but ultimately it boils down to execution and iteration. A BBX launch in 2012 isn't too late, assuming it can execute quicker than the competition. It's the latter that makes this a tall order.