RIM’s future lies with BBX; that much is certain. Just how readily existing BlackBerry users will embrace the new operating system, as well as the new hardware released to run it, is another matter altogether. Some recent comments from a RIM exec give us an idea of what we can expect from BBX devices, and it’s not necessarily going to be good news for fans of the company’s existing hardware.
The BlackBerry Colt that we’ve heard rumored to be the first BBX phone is a keyboardless model with a very tall screen. Apparently, that’s because BBX will target the screen dimensions defined by the PlayBook, including its 16:9 ratio and 1024 x 600 resolution. The idea is to have PlayBook apps run without issue on the phones, letting BBX start off with an established app library.
Our obvious concern is that if all BBX phones have a 16:9 screen, does that mean the end of the BlackBerry hardware keyboard? If so, one of the big reasons keeping some users with RIM may be headed out the window. That’s going to make it all the more important that RIM really nails this OS launch.