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RIM LTE Phones Expected Early Next Year

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
8/29/2011

Analysts expect that BlackBerry will bring 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) to new phones based on its QNX operating system early next year.

Carmi Levy, an independent technology analyst based in London, Ontario, suggests the 4G technology will be part of a "full-court" launch for QNX in the first quarter of 2012. "I see LTE and QNX being lumped into the same marketing package, as it makes sense to correlate a slick, new OS with a slick, new network capability that brings it to life," Levi writes in an email to LR Mobile.

The Boy Genius Report blog initially revealed details earlier this month about the first QNX smartphone from RIM, which is said to be called the "Colt." Bloomberg, meanwhile, notes that the new operating system is expected to support Android apps.

Several analysts suggest that the phones could also have a 4G element onboard. The company has already said that it is working on an LTE PlayBook tablet. (See RIM Delays 4G PlayBook to the Fall.) Jack Gold of J.Gold Associates suggests that an LTE phone will arrive in the first or second quarter of the year. "I’d bet by QNX release time, LTE will be included," Gold notes.

"I would think they have to provide Verizon and AT&T with a QNX LTE phone early next year," agrees Berge Ayvazian, senior consultant at Heavy Reading .

The company is likely to be working hard to ensure performance is as good as possible on its 4G devices, and "mostly around power requirements to keep the traditional long BB battery life," analyst Gold suggests.

Analyst Carmi Levi, nonetheless, says that the pressure for RIM to go to LTE will be more about "bragging rights" than drastic increases in capabilities over the very latest 3G devices.

"No one really believes that early-release LTE-capable networks and devices will be dramatically faster than 3.5G-based offerings," Levy posits. "But as we've learned, in this sector, non-substantive features and capabilities can often become great marketing hooks."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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sarahthomas1011
sarahthomas1011
12/5/2012 | 4:55:13 PM
re: RIM LTE Phones Expected Early Next Year


A QNX LTE phone makes a lot of sense for RIM. I don't think they could do 4G any sooner, but it'll be important for its first QNX phones to come out with a bang -- or at least a good marketing message, as they suggest.

bobfa
bobfa
12/5/2012 | 4:55:11 PM
re: RIM LTE Phones Expected Early Next Year


QNX is a mature embedded OS company.  It would seem to be plausable to virtualize Androd under QNX control and get the best of both worlds.  Rooting for RIM to find a way to survive, but they must make a step change in innovation!

joset01
joset01
12/5/2012 | 4:55:09 PM
re: RIM LTE Phones Expected Early Next Year


Interested to see if they can improve LTE battery life and how.

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