I’m both an iOS and Android user. (Yep, I’m one of those dual OS people.) I was also a big fan of webOS, and so was greatly saddened by HP’s decision to end its WebOS device line. But despite all that, I actually find myself rooting for BlackBerry these days. I know, I know — a lot of people think the platform has one foot in the grave. Maybe I can’t resist cheering for an underdog, especially one that might be able to pull itself up and regain some of its previous glory.
It’s sad then that sales for BlackBerry 7 devices didn’t really cut it. Undoubtedly, RIM had hopes for this new version of the BlackBerry OS. Now there’s new word that RIM is racing to the finish line to push out its first QNX smartphone, the BlackBerry Colt. (This is the stuff that BB geeks have been foaming at the mouth about, especially since they got a gander of what a QNX-based OS can do on the Playbook. Though the tablet had some faults — mainly, being hobbled by an over-dependence on BlackBerry phones to work optimally — there was no doubt that the operating system felt fresh and new, and that it has potential to reboot the BB franchise.)
Jefferies & Company sent a note to investors on Friday suggesting that RIM is in a mad hurry to get the Colt to market. Analyst Peter Misek, who lowered his rating on RIM to “Underperform from Hold,” outlines modest BlackBerry 7 sales and points out the waning demand for older handsets. RIM is responding, he says, by galloping at full speed with the Colt to market. But, ”based on our checks, we believe the phone is being rushed and features are being stripped. Most importantly, the integration of BES/BIS email/calendar is proving difficult, and we think a QNX phone without these would be a disaster.”
That would be a huge issue, as it’s what gives businesses RIM’s corporate PIM services, like email and calendar. And right now, enterprise sales are the only thing leveling out dismal consumer interest. So is RIM shooting itself in the foot?
Well, it might be that he’s referring to BoyGenius Report’s post about the Colt lacking BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Thing is, even though the site said support for current versions of BES won’t be included, it also said that RIM “will release a new version of BES that will support both its QNX-based operating system as well as older versions of the BlackBerry platform.”
I could see the company racing to get this out — maybe even before BGR’s predicted Q1 2012 timeframe — but not without this crucial piece of the pie. If it can hold onto its enterprise segment, while courting new consumer interest (with, maybe, a new ability to run Android apps), then this offering may be less like an underdog and more like a winning stallion.
I hope so. I just love comeback stories. What about you? Are you looking forward to checking out the Colt? Or do you predict it won’t be enough to save the BlackBerry platform?
[via BoyGenius Report]