RIM Promises BlackBerry PlayBook Updates

By Channel Insider Staff  |  Posted 2011-09-16 Email Print this article Print

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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


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