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RIM’s Alec Saunders Says BBX “Designed for Dual Core” & Theme Studio Coming in 2012

Screen shot 2011-01-09 at 5.13.32 PM

RIM’s new VP of Developer Relations, Alec Saunders, sat down with Al Sacco @CIO for a quick interview on the future of BlackBerry. Most of it seems to cover the same topics we heard at DevCon but there were a few tidbits that are worth pointing out. Alec continues to stress that BlackBerry OS 7 and current devices will “be in market for some time” but we will “see a natural evolution away from the BlackBerry OS Platform” to BBX. The thing is that Alec told Al that:

Unfortunately, because current BlackBerry OS devices do not have dual-core chips they won’t be able to run the new BBX OS, which is designed to run on devices with dual-core CPUs.

We have heard this line a few times all the way up to Mike Lazaridis but then the Colt demo BBX device that is floating around behind the scenes as a developer unit only has a single core. That makes it sound like current BlackBerry 7 devices are never going to see BBX. On the other hand that sort of makes sense since things like bezel gestures don’t exist on current hardware. Alec also confirmed that BBX phones at launch will support BES and native PIM along with BlackBerry bridge for tablets in case companies want to use that for security reasons.

Alec also covered development and said that it was a really tough decision for RIM to not support the BlackBerry JDE on BBX. According to him RIM “worked really hard to get the JDE environment on BBX” but it didn’t work out. Alec also confirmed that the BlackBerry 7 liquid graphics (read OpenGL) engine stopped RIM from being able to release a Theme Studio dev environment for developers. Supposedly those tools will come in mid-2012 which is a far way off. Al smartly asked how RIM developed the Porsche theme used in the new BlackBerry P’9981 and it turns out that RIM has an internal theme development building tool but it is not shared.

Check out the full interview over for more details

11 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. If they are going to wait that long for the theme studio, they may as well not even bother…

  2. a few things:

    1- steer clear of BBOS7 devices. As a Storm2 owners, I can assure you that owning a device with no long-term upgrade path SUCKS.

    2- Rim is dumb. If there is one company that needs dual-core phones right now and on sale for the past 6mo, its RIM, not google, not apple. They are not selling high end phones right now (front camera, dual core) and they need to for the future of their platform and company. Then when BBX is available for phones, all of a sudden your new platform has millions of phones that support it (dual core 9900 for instance).

    3- I understand that RIM fell behind software-wise, as they had to protect their existing market 2-3 years ago, and takes a little while to adapt QNX for smartphones. But why are they also BEHIND ON THE HARDWARE FRONT????


  3. It’s important for RIMM to stop with the delays and start delivering the goods. If RIMM can pull it together they can combine flash and substance – something no smart phone can say today.

  4. What exactly is Theme Studio?

    Is it just to put themes on your phone?

  5. I’ve been a dedicated BlackBerry user and passionate supporter for quite a few years. So it really pains me to watch them struggle so badly in recent times. Will they ever catch up with the competition? I really don’t know. Judging by recent suggestions of internal turmoil, things don’t look good.
    The ability to pick from vast variety of themes has been a major plus for the BlackBerry platform. Now they say we’ve got to wait at least 6 months for Theme builder. Seriously? I own a 9810 and I love it, but the lack of proper support makes me wonder if I’ve made a big mistake by picking up a device that is clearly viewed as interim and will be totally neglected.
    And if RIM somehow manage to alienate their longstanding fan base, what chance do they really stand?

    • Agreed. RIMM fist move should be to rally their base and let the Blackberry fans that they are not being neglected or pushed to the side. They need to be more prolific and effective with communicating to the public and stay on message. Their marketing needs to greatly improve and to listen to customer feedback to improve (there are a lot of great suggestions out there). An infusion of people with innovative/creative minds, who can think out of the box would help greatly.

  6. RIM can get JDE running on QNX it’s not impossible. I bet it’s more a case of developer priority especially as they don’t seem to want to outsource stuff. This may be a way to go looking forward. Look at how fast Symbian Anna and Belle updates have been pumped out since Nokia outsourced development to Logica. RIM may need to recognise they can’t go it alone or build a BBX packager (like the android one) for all those brilliant JDE apps that have been released for BB over the years.

  7. Something so key to the BlackBerry platform (and a major discriminator) as themes and RIM can’t get it going until nearly a YEAR after OS release? It was bad enough when Theme Studio lagged a major OS release by a month or so, but this is just plain pitiful. Cripes already, put out a Theme Studio without Liquid Graphics and release an upgrade later, but at least get SOMETHING out the door! Look at the thousands of themes in App World, and all those that support the BlackBerry platform as theme builders and theme users have NOTHING. So sad……

    • I absolutely agree with you David. We’ve put aside all the follies that Media has had a field day with. But the lack of themes on 7.0 can’t be overlooked. Themes make RIM unique and give users a real personal smartphone. I’ve been making iPhone and Android users jealous of my installed themes for a few years now.

      I love my BlackBerry because I can theme it, use BBM, connect with a lot of people over social networks and super apps. Now RIM doesn’t have the highest quality apps available but they have themes and a great community behind them. That very community loves themes and so many left after waiting 3 months for themes, tack on another 6-8 months and they’ll really be left with only some stubborn business users even I will be gone.

      Words can’t fix this situation only RIM can. They need to keep the true enthusiasts happy, and they had been doing so fairly well.. until now.

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