Forget those BlackBerry OS 7 phones RIM announced last week. Right now the company's biggest news is the recently revealed BlackBerry Colt. That handset—on sale in the first quarter of 2012, according to Boy Genius Report—will run a QNX-based operating system similar to the BlackBerry Playbook tablet.
Though there are no details on the phone's physical design, the Colt does hold some surprises—just not positive ones.
According to Boy Genius Report, the gadget will be powered by a 1-GHz single-core processor during launch. In a smartphone market filled with devices powered by performance-intensive dual-core CPUs, that effectively handicaps the device. The good news is that the company expects to ship a version of the Colt with a dual-core processor sometime later in 2012.
Another sour note is that, according to BGR's sources, RIM still has not found a way to integrate BlackBerry Enterprise Server into the new QNX-based operating system (a problem that afflicts the BlackBerry PlayBook as well). That means RIM's standard solution for push email and calender updates will not be available on the Colt. Until the BES and QNX codes are united, the upcoming handset will support Microsoft ActiveSync for setting up enterprise e-mail and calendars.
RIM has hopes that QNX will help save it from from further decline in smartphone market share. The BlackBerry Colt will be the watershed device that helps BlackBerry climb from a low position in the smartphone market or pushes the manufacturer deeper into the mud. In the meantime, new BB OS 7 phones such as the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the Torch 9810, and the Torch 9850/9860 will have to do the heavy lifting.