RIM's BlackBerry BBX 'Lacks Action, Substance'

By Josh Long Comments
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Research in Motion on Tuesday introduced BlackBerry BBX, a next-generation platform for BlackBerry smartphones and tablets.

The BBX technology will merge the BlackBerry smartphone operating system with RIM’s QNX platform, which has been incorporated into the business-oriented BlackBerry Playbook tablet computer.

At the BlackBerry DevCon Americas 2011 conference in San Francisco, the device maker also announced a series of developer tool updates and provided direction to help developers create and monetize BlackBerry apps.

“With nearly 5 million BlackBerry apps downloaded daily, our customers have made BlackBerry one of the most profitable platforms for developers," RIM Co-CEO and President Mike Lazaridis said in a statement. “At DevCon today, we’re giving developers the tools they need to build richer applications and we’re providing direction on how to best develop their smartphone and tablet apps as the BlackBerry and QNX platforms converge into our next generation BBX platform."

But RIM did not specify when the BBX platform would be available.

“Without a timeline and more specifics, BBX is 'all hat, no cattle' as we say in Texas," wrote Tony Bradley of PCWorld. “OK, I don't really say that – but rumor has it that some Texans use that phrase to mean something or someone that talks a good game, but lacks the action or substance to back it up."

At least one financial analyst had some positive feedback for RIM but still thinks the company needs to make additional improvements in order for its mobile operating system to more effectively compete with Apple and Google, whose mobile operating systems iOS and Android have been growing market share at the expense of RIM.

“We were impressed with new BBX features including Adobe Air 3.0 support, BlackBerry Runtime (Android app support), and hardware acceleration capabilities with OpenGL and Open AL support," Barron’s quoted Mike Walkley of Canaccord Genuity as stating. “While we view these features as marked improvements versus BB OS and QNX, we believe BBX needs further improvement to compete against the developer environments of Android and iOS."

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