After launching its PlayBook tablet yesterday, Research in Motion also let another secret out of the bag in announcing that the PlayBook’s QNX operating system would eventually migrate to smartphones as well, a potential to replace the BlackBerry operating system and give RIM a fresh start much in the same way that Microsoft had scrapped Windows Mobile in favor of Windows Phone 7 for future developments.
The transition won’t happen right away and BlackBerry 7 will most likely be released as a stepping stone before QNX gets official on BlackBerry smartphones. Right now, the majority of RIM’s smartphones still use the BlackBerry 5 operating system, with upgrades to the BlackBerry 6 OS being tested right now. The only device in RIM’s arsenal to use the BlackBerry 6 OS is the BlackBerry Torch, recently released as a flagship BlackBerry on AT&T in the U.S.
QNX will be a powerful OS. On the tablet space, the operating system is enabling full Flash and HTML5 capabilities with hardware accelerated graphics performance. Additionally, it can be used to leverage rich gaming and be an immersive experience. The move to use QNX and have a scalable platform will mirror what rival Apple has done with iOS, making it scale from iPhone and iPod Touch devices to larger tablets like the iPad.