RIM pushes back new Blackberry platform

If you needed to see another nail in Research in Motion’s coffin, how about news that the company is delaying its big software upgrade?

RIM, maker of the continuously-falling Blackberry product line, announced the dismal news yesterday.

The new version of the Blackberry operating system, QNX, will now be coming out in the “latter” half of 2012. It had been scheduled to be available early next year.

QNX made a splash when it was introduced on Blackberry’s flagship tablet, the Playbook. The intuitive interface and masterful multitasking functionality scored praise among reviewers, though it was not without its faults.

Nonetheless, it was a brand new, from-the-ground-up operating system, which critics had been pushing RIM to offer for years. Bringing that interface to the Blackberry smartphone line could have given it a much needed boost.

But now, with at least six or seven months to wait until this becomes a reality, it may very well be too little too late. By then, Nokia’s partnership with Windows Phone will be in its maturity and the dominance of Android and iOS will only continue to grow on a global scale.

Until then, RIM has to rely on its existing Blackberry software, which still has roots that date back to the early 2000s. There is no room for a platform like that in today’s mobile climate.

In a note released to its clients, Canadian firm National Bank Financial summed it up pretty well: “RIM confirmed the BlackBerry [QNX] smartphones will be delayed until the latter part of calendar 2012. This could be game over for the BlackBerry franchise.”