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RIM is completely overhauling its BlackBerry lineup to a new operating system called QNX, which won’t be on the market until next year.But in the meantime, it’s rolling out a patchwork update called BlackBerry 7, to try and stay somewhat relevant in the market, especially for its locked-in enterprise customers.
During RIM’s earnings presentation yesterday, the company said that the first BlackBerry 7 devices would be delayed at least until August, missing the back-to-school promotional period, and forcing RIM to issue very weak guidance for the current quarter.
And now, we have an idea of why these phones were delayed.
RIM is porting its BlackBerry 7 OS over to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor for the new phones, and it’s taking longer than anticipated, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum, in a note today.
“Following the earnings call, we have now learned that the delay RIM is experiencing in launching the BB7 devices is due to the difficulty in porting BBOS onto the Snapdragon apps processor,” he writes.
This is good news for Qualcomm, as RIM is moving over from other chip vendors — “a late stage change … deep into the development cycle … as it was not getting the performance out of its existing vendors,” according to Gelblum.
And for RIM, this may prove helpful in the future, if it means better devices that can compete more effectively with Android and the iPhone. But in the meantime, the delays are more bad news for RIM in a vulnerable time.
Gelblum expects RIM to launch 7-8 new BlackBerry devices running BB 7 between August and November, and that by mid-2012, most of RIM’s devices will be running BB 7, and therefore using Qualcomm chips.
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