RIM may be releasing its first QNX-based BlackBerry, the Colt, in the first quarter, according to a report by Boy Genius Report.

The report, citing an anonymous source, states that the first QNX phone should come in the first quarter, pending internal testing approval.

According to BGR, the Colt will have only a single-core processor and might not initially be compatible with current BlackBerry Enterprise Services. This goes against earlier statements by the company that it would utilize dual-processors in its future phones.

The news comes after analysts, such as Jeffries & Co's Peter Misek, speculated in recent reports that the QNX phones wouldn't be available until the latter half of 2012.

At the time Misek wrote that QNX-based phones could be delayed because of "resources being diverted from QNX to OS 7."

The Waterloo-based company has put a lot of emphasis on its QNX phones, and has been able to at least keep some analysts and investors excited about its potential, despite the BlackBerry's shrinking market share.  

News that the phones might actually make it to market earlier than expected could help the slumping company get back on its feet. The company recently announced intentions to slash 2,000 jobs, as its most popular item, the BlackBerry, has seen its market share drop significantly over the last two years.

Recent studies have shown that consumers want Apple iPhones and Google Android phones much more than they want BlackBerry phones. Not only do more and more people want iPhones and Android phones, but the users that currently own a BlackBerry are less satisfied than owners of iPhones and Androids, according to a study released in July.

Apple has set the market on fire with its iPhone, while RIM has seen its BlackBerry drop to a 20 percent smartphone market share.

Whether a QNX-based phone can help change that current dynamic is unknown, but it's clear that RIM is banking heavily that it can.