RIM BlackBerry logoIs RIM finally working on their first handset that will be powered by the QNX operating system? It looks they may be, but don’t expect to see it until early next year.

According to Boy Genius Report, RIM is currently testing a handset codenamed “BlackBerry Colt” as their first phone running QNX, the same OS that currently powers the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.  However, things may not be going as well as the company would hope they would.  According to the source that spoke with BGR, not only is the QNX handset running on a single-core processor as opposed to the dual-cores that we had been promised, but they are also having trouble getting the infamous BlackBerry Enterprise Server mail to work with the OS.  As it stands now, companies would need to use Microsoft ActiveSync for their corporate email servers, which is something that would certainly not please the folks at RIM if that is the way it still stands at release.

While things look a little shaky for the QNX-based BlackBerry Colt at this time, the proposed release date of the first quarter of 2012 means they still have some time to work out these kinks and hopefully get the phone into tip top shape before it launches.  As we’ve been saying for some time now, QNX could be the company’s savior, but only if they get certain things right.  As our own Jon Rettinger said recently in a post about what RIM can do to survive:

…they have to use their QNX built PlayBook operating system as the patch. While currently missing key functionality (e-mail!) the OS is incredibly solid, modern, elegant, and secure. If RIM can successfully add the missing functionality to QNX, port it to the phone form factor, and add some modern hardware to the mix, they might just have some life left in them yet.

Sadly, what we’re hearing today is exactly the opposite of this.  As we noted last month, RIM has had to lay off 2,000 employees recently, the company needs a hit, and it needs it soon.  If the Colt launches with a single-core in a age where quad-cores will already exist, and without native support for enterprise e-mail, something that has been the bread and butter for this company for years, then they are going to find themselves in even deeper trouble we fear.

What do you think of the BlackBerry Colt rumors?

[via Boy Genius Report]