BlackBerry PlayBook and QNX OS Saving RIM on Wall Street
The company behind the BlackBerry—Research In Motion (RIM)—has had some new life breathed into its stock price (RIMM) by an analyst who believes that the all new QNX operating system that will first premier on company’s coming PlayBook tablet will make the Canadian based company relevant again. Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek upgraded his rating on RIM from “hold” to “buy” and expects RIM’s stock to hit the $80 range; up from his previous estimate of $55. At close today, RIM’s stock had hit $61.83 and is continuing to climb in after-hours trading.
But wait, what? Isn’t RIM dead? Hasn’t Apple CEO Steve Jobs already declared its 7-inch screen size choice for the PlayBook as doomed before it even hits stores early next year? Isn’t the BlackBerry operating system, which was updated to version 6 this year, showing its age against the relatively new iOS and Android platforms? Misek obviously believes that the media reports are overblown.
He basis his belief that greener pastures lie ahead for RIM on the company’s recently acquired QNX Software division. QNX has built a variety of computer systems in the past and compared to some of the stuff it has done, building an operating system for a tablet has to be a walk in the park. QNX is the one responsible for the BlackBerry Tablet OS that will first premier on the PlayBook but is widely expected to find its way onto RIM’s line of smartphones sometime next year.
Interestingly, Misek also says that the new operating system allows Android apps to be easily ported over to it. Since the QNX OS also has the capability for virtual machines and rumors have been running around that it can actually run a virtual Android OS machine and use Android apps, you just have to wonder exactly what RIM will unveil to us all on the PlayBook. The PlayBook also makes great use of the Adobe AIR platform, which will make porting Flash-based apps over a breeze as well.
As for the corporate sales side, Misek believes that RIM is losing business customers—which purchase large quantities of phones for their employees—at a much slower rate than expected. He believes that strong sales abroad (read China) will help offset lost North American sales until the QNX operating system starts showing up in BlackBerry smartphones. After that point, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be the real winner in the smartphone wars.
Will the success of the BlackBerry be tied to the success of the QNX operating system will premier on the PlayBook tablet? Let me know your thoughts on this.BlackBerry PlayBook, tablet, RIM, manufacturer news, QNX