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A Future of QNX and BlackBerry OS 7…


As a BlackBerry user you have been probably hearing about QNX since RIM first announced it would be powering the PlayBook OS. QNX, as described by Alec Saunders of, “runs the high-speed TGV trains in France, the space arm on the shuttle, manufacturing plants around the world, automotive systems from dozens of manufacturers, and soon, I’m betting, your phone.” That was back in April of 2010 just after it was announced that Harman International had agreed to sell their QNX Software Systems division to Research in Motion.

Harman originally acquired QNX to further their pursuit of automobile software and Mike Lazaridis confirmed in a press release that RIM would also “further integrate and enhance the user experience between smartphones and in-vehicle audio and infotainment systems.” We know now that this was not RIM’s #1 priority. Lazaridis also said in the same press release, “QNX will also bring other value to RIM in terms of supporting certain unannounced product plans for intelligent peripherals.” That’s right. That certain unannounced intelligent peripheral is the PlayBook.

Saunders was skeptical from the start about RIM jumping into the automobile industry. He thought the primary reason for the acquisition was for RIM to upgrade their aging OS to compete with Apple and Android. He was right. The future for RIM at this point looks much brighter than it did last year at this time. BlackBerry OS 7 was hinted about at RIM’s developer conference in September of 2010 but has no release date. It is likely a year or 2 away and Mike Lazaridis has been on record saying it is waiting for multicore mobile processors. This will be close to a full switch from the original BlackBerry OS to QNX sweetness. Eventually QNX alone will likely run all of RIM’s devices with possible software emulation to continue to run BlackBerry apps that some couldn’t live without. This means more stability, power, and multimedia capabilities. Three things that current RIM devices fall short on. Watch out Apple and Android! Here comes QNX.

32 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. here is what ticks me off…. there are some dual core phones out there, pretty much all android, but no BB dual core phone. RIM should have been the first one off the gate with a DC phone, since they need to migrate to QNX-based phones asap. Worst, their current CPUs are 2 years old at 624mhz. The nail in the coffin is that the next 12 months of BB phone has no dual-core, no qnx software…

    And with all those new screen resolutions and lack of homogenous OpenGL hardware, dont even get me started on platform fragmentation…

    I hate my storm2. No OS6. Its a one year-old phone not compatible with the OS6 platform. What a shame.

    • Get a Torch….

    • Lets be clear, there are no dual core phones out yet.

      The one that’s close (LG Optimus 2x) can’t even take advantage of the dual-cores until the software catches up to it.

      RIM will be fine. The Playbook, if recent reports are correct ( , will add Android apps, which will ultimately lead to its success. Its success will lead the way to QNX phones in 2012.

      Meanwhile the new 2011 phones are actually quite well spec’d albeit without your precious dual cores. Yes, they’re nothing special compared to the others, but they will sell well because it will satisfy most of RIM’s current userbase. Basically, you whet the apetite for QNX with the Playbook, give some pretty kick-ass OS6.1 phones in 2011, and then come on strong with QNX smartphones in 2011.

    • I understand that RIM does not have dual core yet, but its not all about being first. Its about implement the feature that benefits the users. The problem with dual core at first is the cost of battery life and also developers have yet to take advantage of this power.
      It probably will take year before dual core will be standard, just as Apple and Microsoft are taking time to bring copy and paste.
      People are going to complain that RIM does not have:
      -LTE radio
      -mobile hotspot
      -dual cameras for video chat
      -dual core
      But in due time all of them will be coming soon.
      Shoot it used to be okay to bring phones once a year but people are getting more impatient for what?

    • Considering Android is not even capable of fully utilizing dual core chips yet, I’d say anyone with a dual core Android phone running 2.3 or less is a complete moron.

    • Cliche but who won, the tortoise or the hare?

      I’d rather them get it right then rush something.

  2. I can’t wait to see what a the next OS will look like. That said, I think that as it is on the playbook, the QNX interface looks a lot like the palm/hp OS. i think RIM will have to come up with a pretty unique version so it doesn’t resemble the palm OS.

    I think that RIM may have to redesign the physical form of their devices to make the touchscreen experience much more enjoyable and relevant to today’s mobile devices.

  3. Great article! QNX has given me a lot of hope for the future. I can’t wait to see what it brings.

  4. There was no mention of The Astonishing Tribe. That acquisition plus QNX together will make BB OS 7 über amazing! Not sure how much influence TAT has had on the 1.0 Playbook OS, but I’m sure with 1.x-2.x for Playbook things will start to look pretty sweet, and BB OS 7 will (I pray) be the fresh start to make everyone drool.

    • You’re right TAT was left out of the article, and they shouldn’t have been. Whenever TAT gets their hands dirty with QNX, things will get very nice.

    • I’m betting TAT has already had HUGE influence over pbos 1.0, AND bbos 6.1. They’ve been on board for plenty long enough now to have made major contributions to both.

  5. Good post Jay.

  6. ill leave the big words to the big boys…. i know i wont be waiting to get the PlayBook when its out…. i usually am lackadaisical about getting new devices with fresh OSs, but it seems to me RIM isn’t rushing it and taking the time to work out bugs as much as possible and increase user reliability.

  7. The problem isn’t “to Dual Core or to not”. As someone already said, battery life is a problem for such processors and nobody wants one that lasts less than a day.

    The problem with current RIM lineup is that screen isn’t really good, processor falters (lots of hourglasses), close to none applications in some categories (try to find a working SIP client). The OS6 isn’t so good and customizable as well.

    So it’s no wonder Android is picking up. I foresee that in a couple of years it will be the dominant platform because most people want choices and Apple and RIM are not that good providing them. The first one is a mess and the second one is lost in time.

    Wake up RIM!

    PS: my next phone is an Android.

  8. all i can say is that I am not dumping my 9700 until a QNX compatible device is released!

    • i agree… but i didnt dump my 9700, i traded it for my cuz’s 9800 😀 noobbzz

    • Lol, I do love my 9700 too. But if I may ask, you don’t like any of the 2011 leaks we’ve seen so far?

      I actually asked this in the forums a while ago…will you upgrade to the Dakota (or others) and risk being stuck in a contract when QNX comes out or will you keep your current BB and wait for QNX…most people said they will be getting the Dakota the day it comes out.

      • I rely never was a fan of the Bold line up, i just liked the blend of Curve and added speed aka the 9700, im more a large display person, thats y i had a 9550, it just wasn’t fast enough for me. I would probably wait until QNX is in full swing, that seems like the practical future, and the Monaco (storm refresh) isn’t that appealing to me. the trackpad is a great innovation, but isn’t meant to be on a storm. What you gonna do?

  9. The next edition of RIM’s OS had better come soon because the smartphone world is fast evolving and RIM needs to keep up the pace.

    • Samsung just announced Galaxy S II. Take a look at the specs and you will see why RIM will lose a lot of their market share by this year’s end.

      • All they needed to do to keep me happy was to make a device the size of the bold 9000 with the optical pad, a touch screen, hi rez display, decent web kit and some more horse power.
        I had an Iphone 4 and loved it for its web browser and multimedia hated it for messaging and I tunes.
        I was so happy to switch back to my Blackberry and BBM, but now I’m fed up with the pathetic internet experience, so my next best option is an Android device.
        I fear It might just be to late for RIM even if they get a QNX powered device out in 2012.

  10. This is the most amazing article i’ve ever read. Thanks Jay!

  11. 🙂 Thanks i!

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  13. mots is young n sxc

  14. oh yeah I am goti and i feel sexy, hot .
    wanna kiss me? 😉

  15. no he is wrong i m sexy

  16. yeah r u veerbhadra is it u. u r really sexy. waiting for u in nepal

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