Update 2: September 22nd - Sounds like "colt" is now going to be the QNX development phones that Mike Lazaridis talked about on the conference call and that things are getting further revamped for the first QNX development phone. Also, sounds like the first QNX SuperPhone will have LTE now. Hawt!
Update: Received confirmation that Colt sports a 4.1" touchscreen!! Mini-PlayBook here we come!
I mentioned in our BlackBerry Bold 9900 Review this week that RIM's first QNX-based BlackBerry would feature a full touchscreen design, but haven't yet written a dedicated post to that fact yet. So here it is. And as I take a Friday to catch up on some rumors I've been meaning to post for a while now (BlackBerry Music, PlayBook Tablet OS 2.0), I thought I'd add a couple more to the upcoming BlackBerry SuperPhone currently codenamed "Colt".
Yes, the BlackBerry "Colt" will be a full touchscreen BlackBerry (no trackpad like the Torch 9850/9860) and it will be running on a dual-core hardware platform, like its tablet-sized older brother the BlackBerry PlayBook. With the Torch 9850/9860 running a 3.7" display, we're expecting the Colt to come in the same or even bigger. This is going to be the first BlackBerry SuperPhone, and it has to be SUPER and make a statement, so expect the best of everything BlackBerry here from a RIM design and hardware perspective. On the radio front, it's looking like we'll see it first launch on HSPA+ (not LTE).
At RIM's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis stated it would launch in early calendar 2012, so we're hoping that holds true and we do see it launch in Q1. With BlackBerry 7 Smartphones now hitting the market I'm pretty sure that more than anything at RIM right now, getting the first BlackBerry SuperPhone to market -- and making sure it kicks ass -- is the company's top priority.
When it comes to the traditional BlackBerry OS, admittedly I'm more of a front-facing physical keyboard guy than full touchscreen or slider fan. I just find the BlackBerry phone experience to date works best for me with a physical keyboard always present. But that said, I'm a HUGE fan of the touchscreen experience of the BlackBerry Tablet OS on the PlayBook, so really think it makes sense for RIM to go full touchscreen with their first SuperPhone. RIM has more to gain in the market this way. I already LOVE the way BlackBerry 7 works on the Bold 9900/9930 - I think the strength of the BBOS in that form factor still outweighs anything it's lacking. While I'm sure QNX will find its way onto every form factor of BlackBerry as quick as RIM can make it happen, QNX will really show its strengths on a big touchscreen phone. Agree or disagree? Be sure to vote on the poll above.
Beyond what's known already, there is so much **interesting** stuff to speculate on here. How will RIM number and brand it? With the new Bold already reaching into the 9900s I think it would be STUPID for them to push into the 10,000's. Even I get confused by RIM's device model numbers these days, so hopefully RIM marketing will take this as a chance to simplify things for us consumers (Torch 9800/9810/9850/986 = confusion). Looking at the PlayBook's design, I can only imagine the QNX SuperPhone will share some of that greatness. I'm hoping to see swipe gestures on the bezel, a front facing camera and an HDMI out.
I don't know if it's the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 lust that has me all pumped up this week or what, but all I can say is that more than anything I get the feeling right now that the RIMPIRE is Striking Back. Be sure to sound off in the comments with what you'd like to see in RIM's first SuperPhone! And in the meantime, go buy a BlackBerry 7 Smartphone. They Rock!!