QNX logo shows up in BlackBerry PlayBook advertising; should we expect to see more of this with BlackBerry SuperPhones?

QNX + BlackBerry PlayBook
By Kevin Michaluk on 26 Sep 2011 01:08 pm EDT

I honestly don't know if this is a recent change to the BlackBerry.com website or if it has been this way for a while on the PlayBook page (my attention was brought to it this morning by this CrackBerry forum thread). But as far I can recall this is the only time I've ever seen the official QNX logo used in official marketing materials of the BlackBerry PlayBook.

When the BlackBerry PlayBook was introduced, it was introduced as featuring the BlackBerry Tablet OS. Of course all of us hardcore BlackBerry users and the tech media referred to it as the QNX OS regardless, but to the average consumer that was never really a fact RIM was trying to push (the average person isn't going to have a clue what QNX is anyway and why would RIM want to dilute (or not build, rather) BlackBerry brand equity by pushing another company name for its OS, even if they own it). It has officially always been the BlackBerry PlayBook with the BlackBerry Tablet OS.

But given the state of BlackBerry bashing in the media today, and given that the biggest gripe for BlackBerry Smartphones is the need for an overhauled OS (and more apps!), I can't help but wonder if we'll see a bit more of this QNX co-branding emerge as QNX-based BlackBerry SuperPhones hit the market. While the QNX brand may not be super well known by consumers, it does have a very good reputation in the industry (and starting with the letter Q it sounds like it must be techy and powerful and awesome). RIM making it more well known that the OS is based on technology from QNX Systems will make it very clear that this is a NEW BlackBerry operating system, which is a message they'll really want to get out there with the new generation of phones.  These won't be evolutionary BlackBerry Smartphones, which is what we've seen to date.

Question of the Week: If you were on Research In Motion's marketing team, would you highlight the QNX brand within marketing materials for BlackBerry devices that feature the QNX operating system, or would you keep that away from consumers and just push it as a new and improved BlackBerry OS solely with the BlackBerry brand involved? Any marketing gurus in the house? Sound off with your thoughts!

Reader comments

QNX logo shows up in BlackBerry PlayBook advertising; should we expect to see more of this with BlackBerry SuperPhones?


I would use the QNX brand to make it seem like a new innovation, most people won't know what it is and the ones that do are on this site!

"Blackberry Colt featuring an all new QNX OS!!"

oh and my first "First"!!! (i'm now a geek)

They should definitely market the QNX OS. Most people have a bad opinion of the BlackBerry OS. If they make the new OS seem different and better, it can only mean good things.

While there is no need hide it, it still comes down to people want apps not technologies. RIM really needs to appeal to customers the way the iPad commercials do. RIM's marketing just does not resonate with consumers.

Very well put, Apple has spectacular marketing that makes their products appear very appealing. RIM needs to rethink their marketing strategy and make some changes because it is not working well enough.

I also agree. Apple makes a good product (but not better than RIM), but they are even better at selling/marketing their products in a way that it appears they have the best product, this is where RIM is lacking (very fare behind Apple)

Actually on this you are flat wrong. People don't want Apps they want the pretty interface of the iPad. To see this note that RIM has about 30,000 apps and ask yourself how many people have more than 30,000 apps on their iPad or iPhone.

Oh but you say they have better apps on the iPhone. Really? Are they better or just prettier? You shout ANGRY BIRDS, and I say in return, I'm talking apps not games (I will come back to games in a bit).

True there are a ton more apps on iTunes, now take away all the apps that users use for less than a month and focus on the core apps that everyone really uses. My bet is 90% are also available on Blackberry, but they aren't as pretty.

In short apps are a red herring. People do not by the iPhone for apps they buy it because it looks pretty (both hardware and software).

Still not convinced? Ask yourself if you would take this bet. Suppose RIM came out with a QNX phone that had TAT written all over it. That is, super cool looking UI ans super cool looking core programs, email calendar contacts etc. and 50,000 apps. Do you think that it would not sell because it lack 250,000 apps????

I'm telling you RIM needs to focus as much on making the interface UI of the new phone great as much as or more than upping the number of apps.

On games I agree they need some of the top games but no where near all of them most games suck.

On Marketing, I agree RIM sucks. <-- PERIOD!


I want to see a cartoon drawn with Dan Dodge in a superhero outfit coming to save the day for RIM :)

Funny you say that. I already bugged the cartoonist at PreCentral.net who does PreDoodles to do a SuperDan cartoon for CrackBerry. :)

RIM's marketing team is IMO the biggest problem the company has right now. Why not push the QNX operating system. Not even as a technology but as a feature.
"Blackberry as you've never seen it before. Featuring the all new QNX operating system"
"The QNX Operating system , running planes, trains, auto mobiles and the smartest phones ever"

"The QNX Operating system , running planes, trains, auto mobiles and the smartest phones ever" - Parum

Nice! I like that tag line!

I disagree with using it in their marketing. It will only serve to confuse the mainstream audience. People get battered with all kinds of OS names currently. Stick with Blackberry and keep the focus on that alone.

I know tech people know what QNX is, but everyone else has no clue at all. There are multiple reasons why the Playbook hasn't caught on yet, but not using QNX in the ads is not one of them. No need to create fragmentation internally for no reason.

QNX will not replace the BlackBerry name. QNX is only the name of the operating system. So instead of saying BlackBerry PlayBook with Tablet OS, you say BlackBerry PlayBook with QNX OS. This only makes sense since the QNX OS is soon going to be on smartphones and tablets so it's not really just a Tablet OS.

In my opinion, staying with just "Blackberry" would be a bad idea.

When the general public hears "Blackberry" right now, they cringe and don't want to have anything to do with it.

Their branding needs something new and powerful to polish the "Blackberry" name again. QNX CAN do that if done right.

And they NEED to get away from calling it the Blackberry Tablet OS, since it isn't just the Blackberry Tablet OS. How are you going to market "Blackberry Tablet OS running on Blackberry Phones" That's confusing.

Apple runs iOS on iPad, iPhone and iPod. They don't market it as iPad Tablet OS.

QNX OS is the new Blackberry OS, and that's how it should be refered to.

In my opinion, staying with just "Blackberry" would be a bad idea.

When the general public hears "Blackberry" right now, they cringe and don't want to have anything to do with it.

Their branding needs something new and powerful to polish the "Blackberry" name again. QNX CAN do that if done right.

And they NEED to get away from calling it the Blackberry Tablet OS, since it isn't just the Blackberry Tablet OS. How are you going to market "Blackberry Tablet OS running on Blackberry Phones" That's confusing.

Apple runs iOS on iPad, iPhone and iPod. They don't market it as iPad Tablet OS.

QNX OS is the new Blackberry OS, and that's how it should be refered to.

QNX is used everywhere unbranded... like, Cisco iOS does not say "Powered by QNX"... or, GM OnStar doesn't say "Powered by QNX"

And Apple doesn't say "Apple MAC OSX powered by NeXTStep OS"

However, RIM should probably differentiate and distance itself from the the old BB OS by calling it something like "Blackberry NX 1.0" or something along those lines. But depending on the QNX name itself would be meaningless, as there is absolutely no public awareness of what QNX is...

I think they definitely need to get the QNX name out there. The general public doesn't know what it is because RIM hasn't schooled them yet. Apple has the iOS, google has the Android OS, RIM should have the "QNX OS" And market the hell out of it and all it can do. But do it in a way consumers will understand. RIM needs to make it cool and trendy, just the way Apple did with their iCrap.

What I don't understand, is Apple is a success solely because of its marketing. Why doesn't RIM take some notes and do what Apple has done? I don't get it.

It's irrelevant if RIM has a new a new operating system - what matters is whether or not the app ecosystem will be robust - currently, a barren wasteland on the Moon has more apps than app world does.

Consumers, while maybe looking forward to a new operating system from RIM given the archaic and antiquated "new" OS that is called OS 7.0, also want to purchase apps. Any amount of marketing that focuses on QNX is pointless if there is nothing to purchase for the device.

The Playbook is a fine example of how a QNX operating system is not enough - no Skype, no MSN, no Kindle, no TuneIN, no real pdf viewer, no real power point viewer, and the list is endless. People look at it and go, cool, but there's nothing you can do on it so who cares.

What RIM needs to do in terms of marketing is reaching out with developers and then loudly announcing that Apps are coming. As an example, look at the deal with the new Sony tablet and Gameloft - last week, all the major gaming sites and tablet sites ran stories that major games are coming for the Sony tablet. That is what sells a tablet - not the fact that Sony's tablet runs Android. But rather the fact, that Sony's tablet has apps.

It's the apps that matter - not the OS.

Your post in somewhat on, but misses the point because you go at it wrong, I agree that RIM needs to get the top 100 apps (and it should be easy to figure out what those are) on the phone, but beyong that the marginal returns are likely close to zero.

Don't say RIM needs a ton more apps, they don't. They need the good ones that's all.

Frankly I don't want to wade through 300000 apps. Let me look through the top 100 and I'll likely pick the 10 to 20 I need.

With the Android player this goal should be achievable and I could see an ad that shows 10 of the biggest apps out there running on the new phone (i.e., all the ones you mentioned) and people would say WOW!

RIM needs focus not just a mad race for a ton of apps. Focus on quality.

You only want to associate QNX with a product or product line that is successful. The concept would be to relate a successful Playbook OS to a new and innovative smartphone. As a concept example: iPhone to iPad. I would not roll-out QNX just yet. The Playbook needs more time to mature in the market.

I have to agree, I'm not a big app user, but no eBay App, Paypal, Kindle, IMDB, etc, those are bread and butter apps on other platforms. It doesnt matter if the browser can handle them, I want the functionality they bring - add to calendar for watched items etc.

Let's be honest, there's more in the webOS store for the Touchpad, and that's a hell of a statement. They might not have all the big names, but they have some (Engadget, Kindle) and some great alternatives Auctionmate etc.

If I were on RIM's marketing team I'd hang myself for being so useless and having nothing to point to on a resume worth a damn! Seriously though the Playbook name is getting closer to the stench of failure associated with the Storm name with each passing day that goes by. The Blackberry name is going down the crapper too as each day passes, each time Mike and Jim open their mouth, and each day the press beats them up. They may need to rebrand the entire product line over to QNX and just let the name Blackberry name fade out with the OS7 device. That's something that focus groups and such would need to determine for sure, but Blackberry isn't the name it used to be.

I went to the website to check it out and clicked on the "Apps" link and this is what comes up:

"Discover a whole new world of powerful apps built and optimized for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Plus run many of your favorite apps for BlackBerry smartphones and Android. All available in BlackBerry App World™."

They are already advertising the ability to get Android apps. Has anyone noticed this before or are they just getting ready for the 2.0 upgrade?

And to add to the apps discussion above, many of my friends have really liked the looks and size of my PlayBook, but then they ask me to show how it streams Netflix movies. I have to pause and tell them it doesn't do that, but that I can go to EPIX which provides an app. They are unimpressed immediately.

Is it against the "rules" for RIM to pay for the development of an app for the most wanted sites like Netflix, Kindle, etc.? Obviously these companies don't want to spend the $$ to develop an app for what the press is saying is a dead tablet. Don't they do that with the Facebook app? I doubt Facebook developed that app otherwise it would have advertising in it. RIM is shooting themselves in the foot if they don't do this kind of thing.

One thing they should do is can the adobe Air logo. Adobe has been a horrible partner for RIM on the playbook.

No pdf viewer with editing or adding comments - come on this is a business device.
No mags
No newspapers. The NYT reader is written in adobe Air!

RIM has a marketing team?! Must be a typo.

All jokes aside I know they must have a marketing team, that should be fired. They are close to useless. If I sucked at my job as bad as they do at theirs I know I wouldn't have a job anymore.

I do believe that they should have QNX everywhere. It's different to what people see from BlackBerry.

i think branding with qnx is a smart play especially if they buy rights to Q from james bond. Maybe Q will win folks over!

...Honeycomb, maybe? Google phones are annoying.

I think RIM should keep it simple. QNX is part of Blackberry now, so it seems fair to me to acknowledge the new OS within their marketing stategy.

I think this is a great idea, if, have to add if, Blackberry was very clear about what QNX is. It is the worlds most reliable and trusted real time operating system. It runs your car equipment and your moms respirator and heart equipment to name a few key ideas that would help the world understand what they are doing with it.

Three points

Marketing team needs to create a real buzz about Blackberrys, I don't believe the name is dirt with the public, only amongst some tech guys. Why not go hard with the marketing and make owning a Blackberry an event like how people view apple products, what about a dedicated Blackberry Store...

Google's tie up with Motorola means there's an opportunity to licence the os in the future to other phone manufacturers.

Finally does it have to be called QNX, I'm always in favour of names or concepts that the public can quickly grasp, if it had a more catchy name this would find its way to more consumers, and the tech guys will always know the real origins of the software (otherwise they're not real techies) so it won't lose any credibility.

Everyone on here keeps talking about how bad the BlackBerry name is in the market place. What a lot of you need to realize is that the average everyday consumer doesn't think the BlackBerry name is garbage...it's just not top of mind because of the current competition and because of RIMs poor marketing efforts.

The average everyday consumer has never been on CrackBerry.com or other cell phone blog sites, they have never heard of QNX, they don't know who Jim and Mike are, and if you ask them what they think about Research In Motion, they would tell you it is unwise to read while on a merry-go-round! But everyone knows what a BLACKBERRY is because of the years of dominance they once had in the marketplace. To scrap the BlackBerry name would be foolishness.

RIM hasn't committed any offenses that multiple millions of dollars in advertising and marketing (including and overhaul of the marketing department) can't fix! Apple knows exactly who their customers are and markets directly to them. Apple tells their customers what is cool and what they feel they can't live without. RIM pushes great technology and innovations, but they expect their customers to go out and realize it's cool on their own. If you're a tech nerd, you are on CrackBerry or related websites daily...if you're the average everyday consumer, you are watching tv and on facebook daily. RIM needs to figure out who their customers are and where to find them, If they want to expand their customer base into Apple territory.