Jefferies believes reports that Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) will launch a QNX phone in first quarter of calendar 2012 are correct. However, the brokerage also believes it will be a single-core, non-native email, non-push, non-data compressed BlackBerry.
"RIM management has referred to their QNX phones as 'superphones', but we find these specs uncompelling," said Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies. "We still believe QNX handsets with dual cores and native email will not be available until second half of calendar 2012."
Misek said his checks indicated that RIM was having issues with multi-core chipsets and its BlackBerry Enterprise Server/BlackBerry Internet Service (BES/BIS) infrastructure for QNX, leading him to believe that the Boy Genius Report (BGR) story of a QNX phone in first quarter is likely correct.
Misek believes the QNX phone will not be a superphone. He sees this as nothing more than ditching features, functionality, and performance in an attempt to adhere to a first quarter launch commitment to carriers and partners.
However, given the likely lack of dual or quad-core chipsets and its near certain incompatibility with RIM's BES/BIS infrastructure, Misek still believes that QNX superphones that are dual-core and integrate with RIM's infrastructure are an second half of calendar 2012 event.
Misek said poorly received initial QNX phone would hurt the company. He would become incrementally more bearish if RIM were to launch an underpowered and non-BES/BIS-linked Blackberry powered by QNX.
"We believe it would harm consumer perceptions and would likely encourage enterprises to seriously evaluate alternative solutions. BGR reports that enterprises will have to use Microsoft's ActiveSync to support Microsoft Exchange email on the QNX phone. We believe this could lead to a permanent shift away from Blackberry services and devices," said Misek.