The latest rumor out of Bloomberg is that RIM is planning on using the much applauded QNX embedded operating system in their upcoming BlackPad tablet. We have heard the same from quite a few sources and its good to see that RIM has realized they have taken BlackBerry 6 as far as they can. This change will also give RIM a reason to justify the $200 million purchase price they paid for QNX. QNX and their Realtime Operating System (RTOS) is one of the most popular middleware and operating system solution for embedded solutions. Their software is used far and wide from BMW cars to the US Army’s Crusher tank.
I think RIM has a real shot of hitting this one out of the park using all of the developer tools that QNX already has created for their partners. I am not sure if it will be based on Java, C, Flash, or HTML5 but this could be a clean slate for RIM. The sources quoted by Bloomberg still think the device will be called the BlackPad but I am not sure if RIM will really deviate from their BlackBerry (series name) standard. Only time will tell!
If you want to read a little about the QNX RTOS you can check out this coverage on Wikipedia. The other interesting thing to note is that some portions of the QNX RTOS are opensource…!
The other rumor I have heard that Bloomberg confirms is that the BlackPad will not have its own internet connectivity and will rather use either WiFi or your BlackBerrys connection over Bluetooth. I hope RIM can find a way to make that fast enough with LTE around the corner. On the other hand I am really liking the fact that there wont be yet another device on my wireless plan.
What do you think? Will QNX be the fresh start and saving grace RIM needs so badly to stay on top of the smartphone market?
PS: Anybody else notice that QNX was also started by students at the University of Waterloo?