RIM Promises BlackBerry PlayBook Updates

By Channel Insider Staff  |  Print this article Print

RIM claims that major PlayBook updates are coming, along with QNX smartphone prototypes. The news follows an announcement of weak corporate earnings.

Research In Motion reported revenues of $4.2 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2012, a 15 percent decline from the $4.9 billion it earned during the previous quarter. The company shipped some 10.6 million BlackBerry smartphones and around 200,000 BlackBerry-branded PlayBook tablets during that period.

RIM s aging BlackBerry portfolio continued to drag on the company s overall financials. Overall unit shipments in the quarter were slightly below our forecast due to lower than expected demand for older models, Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM, wrote in a Sept. 15 statement ahead of the company s earnings call.

RIM is betting that its upcoming generation of QNX-powered superphones will allow it to reclaim the initiative in the ultra-competitive smartphone space, where it faces determined rivals such as Apple s iPhone and a growing collection of Google Android devices from various manufacturers. A version of the QNX operating system currently powers the company s PlayBook tablet.

A recent report from Bloomberg suggested that both those QNX superphones and the PlayBook will eventually support Android applications. Until its next-generation handhelds hit the market, though, RIM is depending on a new set of BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry 7 OS, which executives insist have enough collective momentum to carry the company though the launch of its QNX devices.

BlackBerry 7 OS offers faster browsing, smoother navigation, voice-activated universal search, and preinstalled applications. The new devices included the BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860, with a 3.7-inch touch-screen and no physical QWERTY keyboard; an ultra-thin update of the Bold; the BlackBerry Torch 9810, an update of the sliding-keyboard Torch; and BlackBerry Curves (the 9350, 9360, and 9370). 

To read the original eWeek article, click here: BlackBerry PlayBook Updates Coming, Following RIM's Weak Earnings Report