Future BlackBerry to run new OS

2011-07-05 14:29

Cape Town - Research in Motion's (RIM) acquisition of software company QNX will change the operating system on future BlackBerry devices as the firm looks to grow its market in smartphones.

"We will start having our handsets based on QNX in the near future," Rui Brites team leader for Product Management in Africa for RIM told News24.

He conceded that developers had found the traditional BlackBerry operating system difficult to work on, but that the new QNX operating system would open the market to more apps.

"QNX is giving us the ability to open that, because it's truly an open-source OS and what we're doing is we're basically saying that if you have any in-house skills of any sort of development, you will now be able to develop on BlackBerry."

He said that because of the new operating system, it was becoming possible for users to download Android apps onto BlackBerry devices.

Android market

"We've created an opportunity for Android developers to submit their applications onto our App World and we've created a player that re-compiles it to work on this device," said Brites.

This means that developers no longer have to code specifically for BlackBerry, potentially opening the device to a range of new apps in the booming Android market.

The BlackBerry instant messaging service, BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) allows users to send free text messages to those with the device, and RIM was in the process of opening the platform to developers.

"We're opening up the APIs [Application Programming Interfaces] on BBM, allowing developers to integrate," Brites said.

The company remains committed to partnering with mobile service providers to deliver data packages and billing, and Brites explained that this logic was particularly necessary in developing nations in Africa because of the low access to credit cards and payment systems.

"If we look at App World, or apps purchasing, we fundamentally believe that carrier billing integration is the way to go," he said.

RIM introduced BBM gifting in February and uses are able to send airtime to their contacts to play games or make App World purchases.


The firm hinted that its ambition with the gifting programme extends beyond sending airtime to friends and family.

"There will be many usage scenarios and circumstances that can be accommodated through the BBM mobile gifting platform around the world, but the easiest for many people to readily envision and appreciate is the simplified act of a parent approving their child’s request for additional airtime minutes or an app purchase with a single click using BBM," Co-CEO Jim Balsillie said at the time.

"Now having integrated carrier billing, you're now able to gift airtime, using BBM. It's BlackBerry to BlackBerry related, but gifting can be to anybody," said Brites.

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  • kidblack - 2011-07-05 15:04

    "We're opening up the APIs [Application Programming Interfaces] on BBM, allowing developers to integrate" Queue the can of worms.

      Stryder - 2011-07-05 15:07

      Not like blackberry is renowned for robustness as it is. They forever break and malfunction.

      Cedric Jonkers - 2011-07-05 15:58

      @Stryder, BlackBerry's may not be as durable as the old Nokias, but I have had 3 BlackBerry's and none of them broke or malfunctioned and if it does freeze, a reboot normally solves that! If you're so against BlackBerry why have one? I think its wise of RIM to "allow developers to integrate" as it allows access to more apps and developers would not have to develop different apps for different OS'.

      Stryder - 2011-07-05 16:10

      LOL @ all the thumbdowns. Crapberry addicts no doubt. What a crock of Sh!t, oh well if you want to fall for the hype go for it, fact remains that the hardware and software is flimsy at best. If your blackberry hasn't let you donw yet then stick around. And remember where you heard it predicted. :-) Jeesh, right below my post is another satisfied Crapberry client...or is that ex-client.

      Hendrik Pretorius - 2011-07-05 18:49

      Strydertjie jy moet begin om jou goetterkies op te pas. Lyk my jy is 'n stout seun wat alles breek en dan die mense wat dit maak beskuldig? Selfs my BlackBerry Storm werk goed want ek pas dit op. Om nie te praat van my Torch en my vrou se Curve 9300 nie. Kom reg ou seun! O ja en gaan spoel sommer daai potiiemond met 'n mengsel van Sunlight Liquid en Handy Andy uit. Sies man wat sal jou Ma se as sy jou moet hoor!!!!!!

      Stryder - 2011-07-06 10:13

      I do not have a blackberry, not a week goes by that someone makes an update that their blackberry is in for repairs. It's a joke, one never hears this about other phone manufacturers. Even samsungs are better for quality. Crackberry addicts get angry hey. lol truth hurts.

      Shadoz - 2011-07-06 11:28

      i have dropped my tourch countless time and it still works 100% so yeah. I could not change over to any other phone. I love RIM and i hope they dnt change it cause a few idiot's cant workout how to use it

      Suckerz - 2011-07-06 12:09

      Stryder is one of those... complains about something he heard others complain about."I do not have a blackberry"... its like giving commentary on a soccer match whilst he is watching Netball.

      Stryder - 2011-07-06 13:51

      @Suckerz-No I learn form all the other Suckerz mistakes. I do not need to own a blackberry to be well informed about it. What a stupid statement. you must own a blackberry you Sucker.

  • Rakgadi - 2011-07-05 15:22

    I have had some much bad luck with my Blackberry. Blackberry enterprise first deleted all my data. And due to our server being changed from SA to AU everything was deleted. And secondly my (e) (2) button malfunctioned try sending out a sms without an e or phoning without a 2. Now I am using my husbands Nokia E90 and wow the only thing I really miss is BBM the compatibility to outlook, messages e.g. is sooo much beter with Nokia

      Cedric Jonkers - 2011-07-05 15:51

      You should have had a back-up. There are so many ways: BlackBerry Protect and using the desktop software.

      lenand40 - 2011-07-06 08:37

      My first foray into the world of the smart phones was through the Nokia N97. Until then, I had resisted the temptation to go with the hype of the blackberry, which was thee smartphone at the time. It became clear that Nokia and its N97 were ill-prepared for smart phones and it consequently froze endlessly and had many other problems. Eventually, I had had enough and after 2 months, I returned i and got the Blackberry Bold 9000. Initially, this was a great phone but problems started i.e. problem with the trackball (an admitted design flaw), then it was the ringer (another admitted design flaw). Eventually, they had to replace it due to the number of problems experienced in a short time. Unfortunately, it was replaced with another Blackberry Bold 9000, which (you guessed it) is presently at the shop for overheating. At this point, I am willing to take any blackberry instead of the Blackberry bold 9000. In fact, I am willing to take Nokia. However, I am not giving up hope on the blackberry and have acquired a torch for my work phone and will give the bold, whenever it returns, to someone who is home bound and will have no problem with emails and calls not being received. BBM is a great application indeed, while the budgetting of the BES and BIS is far superior than the data plans that can kill you when travelling overseas (Nokia phone keeps connecting to the network even when in the pocket, resulting in huge data charges)

      Stryder - 2011-07-06 10:14

      @Cedric- I just have phone that does not lose data all the time.

  • 5cents - 2011-07-05 15:28

    I love my blackberry. Faults and all :D

      Ronin - 2011-07-05 15:53

      I've never heard anyone complain about their BB, and then moved to another platform. I've heard many of the other way around.

      DJI - 2011-07-05 17:57

      I am a very big blackberry fan and had mine for 2 years now. I wanted to get a new BB but the Samsung ace looks brilliant so I will try that out.

      Jason - 2011-07-06 10:11

      @DJI - The samsung Ace is a good phone. I also wanted to get one... until I did some research and found out that the battery life on that phone is terrible. Go to google and find out more!!!

  • Kenneth - 2011-07-05 15:40

    Blackberry should just run android then i'll get one. Their current OS/UI sucks.

  • Ross - 2011-07-05 16:10

    Blackberry sucks and will cease to exist within the next 5 years. They will go the way of Nokia due to their crappy phones.

      lenand40 - 2011-07-06 08:38

      Nokia phones are great. Nokia smartphones are crap

  • Analyst - 2011-07-05 16:47

    bbm is already replaced by whatsap.

      Jonathan - 2011-07-05 17:31

      bbm and whatsapp are not the same. With a BB you can also use whatsapp and the best is it is for free, to my knowledge with all other phones you pay for the data.

      Stryder - 2011-07-06 10:15

      @Jomathan-You pay for data on blackberry too.

  • Tinashe - 2011-07-05 16:50

    Its about time they did something because the competion from android and apple is fierce and honestly as much as I love the blackberry and its usefulness in the business environment, android devices are just that much slicker and the apps for android amd apple really are worth considering switching to to an android device. Really hope this new platform will resurrect Blackberry and its fledgling smartphone that we had grown to love before it becomes obsolete coz lets face it there really is no better smartphone when it comes to to qewrty keypad phones

  • Georgp2 - 2011-07-05 17:36

    QNX is a magic operating system.I think it even aviation approved.

  • Hitch - 2011-07-05 17:39

    I'm actually amazed by the naivety of some of the comments made! Coming from a strong IT Enterprise background we get to evaluate many products on a business level. BlackBerry has time and time again proven to be the most robust mobile platform a business can choose. Enterprise server and BIS functionality are unmatched and unrivaled. As for "WhatsApp" replacing BBM...I think not, they are merely trying to catch up. The robustness of the phones is quite remarkable, mine have suffered severe abuse over the years including landing in the bottom of a pool! I recently challenged an iPhone user to drop his phone from standing height as I was willing to do with my Bold, he didn't go for it! BB has been forced to cater more for multimedia requirements and as such has had to play catch up in this regard. Allowing Android apps will just take the offering to a whole new level. Fantastic news!

      drystone - 2011-07-06 08:22

      What's so fantastic about BB landing im the pool? I've a X10 SE landed in the botom of the pool as well, and after being dried in the sun, worked again the same day and still in use. Im sure that is possible with manny phones. It's the user friendly characteristics, and yes, android apps that count the most

      lenand40 - 2011-07-06 08:42

      BB as a business phone has no rivals, but as a personal phone, the Androids and iphone have it beat. For looks, the androids are just beyond anything else. Why Nokia keeps reviving Windows Mobile beats me. What a waste of opportunity. If I was Nokia, I would develop an android, symbian and windows mobile range and see which one sells, and can the rest.

      Martin - 2011-07-06 11:46

      Hitch, trust me mate, this will be the end of BBM... Switch to Android OS like the rest of the world. Why run it on there own new unproven QNX platform when they anyway want to make it possible for Android apps to run on it??? MULTIPLE PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT IS A NIGHTMARE! Been there, done that!

      Rich - 2011-07-06 11:53

      "strong IT Enterprise background" and you talking about comparing phones by dropping them into a pool?? lol idiot BB BES is still strong, but face the facts. BB is a dying breed. with the OS drama they have, and developers withdrawing their support coz developing for their OS is such a pain in the ass, this doesnt come as a shock SA follows international trends, and the only reason BB is doing so well here is that we are a bit behind the international space as we are 3rd world, and RIM are exploiting that. Just look at the recent splurge of BB advertising. You drop the R59 BIS and any idiot falls for it... the BB phase will pass here as well, just like it did everywhere else in the world. BB are losing marketshare bit by bit, and a new OS isnt gonna stop that unless they go Android. this ^^

  • Wayne - 2011-07-06 08:21

    Sorry but Android, iPhone and maybe WP7 will dominate the market.

  • preshengovender69 - 2011-07-06 08:35

    once you go Black you never go back

  • Martin - 2011-07-06 11:41

    Here some advice: SWITCH TO GOOGLE ANDROID!! Best value @ lowest price. The new Samsung Galaxy SII (Android) is best smartphone out there based on multiple reviews! Why do BBM wants to run Android apps on there OWN LITTLE QNX platform? I have done multiple platform development and TRUST ME: THERE IS NO EASY & CHEAP WAY DEVELOPING APPS FOR MULTIPLE PLATFORMS! Maybe in the dreamworld BBM lives in, but realistically a big NO!

  • Saarkie - 2011-07-06 12:10

    I notice that BB has just been passed by iPhone in US sales....

  • Stryder - 2011-07-06 13:52

    I have a Nokia E72. I challenge you to come up with things you can do on your Blackberry that I cannot on my Nokia.

      Stryder - 2011-07-06 13:53

      By that I mean useful things.

      lenand40 - 2011-07-06 14:57

      connect seamlessly to the enterprise network. Many companies prevent external access to emails. Another is free text messaging without incuring extra data costs. Then, the ability to do a lot, without the extra data charges associated with a lot of other makers.

      Stryder - 2011-07-06 15:38

      1) I have email set up and it works just fine. If your company does not allow access then Blackberry wont make a difference unless your company is set up for the service. In which case they could set up for other services as well. 2) Text messaging - Personally I use a phone to make phone calls, regardless I understand that many people like texting. You do pay for data on a blackberry I believe it is about R70.00 per month? What's App is available and I would have to send a crap load of messages to use up R70 worth of bandwidth using it. Furthermore I can communicate with ANY smart phone using it. Put on top of that the propensity for Blackberry's to malfunction and I reckon that negligible amount extra that I pay for data is more than worth it. I can imagine though that, that integration with Exchange is useful. I will give you that point, however it isn't that much of a mission to sync my Nokia with Outlook.

  • Hitch - 2011-07-06 16:31

    Thought I would check in and see what comments have been on my last post. I see I got 24 positives and 4 negatives, some of those 4 calling me an idiot. I guess the vote is out who the real idiots are......

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