On Wednesday Research in Motion launched five new Blackberry mobile phones in addition to announcing that in a year or so their phones will be running on a completely new operating system. All in all most tech analysts believe that the new OS will have a dire impact on the reputation and success of RIM in the next few years. Essentially, it’s do or die for the smartphone creator.
Two new Blackberry Bold models, 9900 and 9930, and three new Blackberry Torch models, the 9800, 9850 and 9860, make up the squad of phones announced yesterday. Sources say that over two hundred carriers are already in the works of trying to gain rights to sell the new models, as their predecessors have been very successful.
This success, however, may plateau as RIM continues to lag behind in browsing features and graphics on their current operating system. The new phones will run on the Blackberry 7 OS, essentially the same system used to operate a Blackberry over a decade ago. Many view this as a problem for RIM as Blackberry 7 already could use a few touch-ups to really compete with other smartphones.
The most interesting part of this new launch, though, is the absence of the QNX OS that Blackberry has been running on its tablet computer, the PlayBook, but has not yet incorporated into its phones. Analysts agree that not launching these newest phones with the QNX system is worrying for consumers. Even more concerning is the fact that QNX-capable Blackberrys will go on sale next year, but new devices bought now will not be able to convert and upgrade their OS.
By leaving its customers in the dust, essentially, when the new OS arrives, Blackberry seems to be doing a disservice to their followers. Those who are particularly tech-savvy will of course wait for the new OS, but those consumers who will not know the difference? Well, those are the ones RIM is counting on to buy up these latest models of their old-OS phones.
Combine this shady business model with the downsizing and senior management change-up at RIM corporate, and you get one rocky road for the Blackberry. Unfortunately this lack of a turn-around and QNX launch may leave RIM in the dust as well.