Rumor Mill: RIM's first BBX smartphone will launch in Q3 2012

A picture of what might be one of Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) first smartphones running its new BBX operating system appeared online along with some specifications. The device has been dubbed the "BlackBerry London," according to The Verge, which obtained the photo. However, according to the blog Boy Genius Report, the device will not be available until the third quarter of 2012.

The photo shows a large touchscreen device with angular corners and metallic finish. The design changes fit with a description given earlier this month by Alec Saunders, RIM's vice present of developer relations and ecosystems development, who said RIM's new smartphones may not look like the company's classic BlackBerry Bold devices. According to The Verge, which received the photo and details from an anonymous source, the London will have a dual-core 1.5 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of on-board storage, an 8-megapixel camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera and will be "thinner than the iPhone 4."

More importantly, the device, which the blog said could be a dummy phone, is running on new software that resembles the software on RIM's PlayBook tablet. The PlayBook uses QNX software, the platform behind BBX. The picture displays a card-like user interface, similar to the PlayBook.

A RIM spokeswoman declined to comment.

RIM has repeatedly said it expects to launch its first QNX-based smartphones sometime in early 2012, though the company has released few details. Saunders told PC Magazine earlier this month that the devices will support the company's core email functions and will have the same screen resolution and aspect ratio as the BlackBerry PlayBook, which has a 16:9 ratio and 1024-by-600 screen.

RIM has been under pressure to deliver the new software in a bid to catch up with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android. That pressure will become more intense in the wake of new research from Gartner showing continued declines in RIM's global smartphone market share. Gartner said BlackBerry's market share dropped to 11 percent in the third quarter from 15.4 percent in the year-ago period.

For more:
- see this The Verge article
- see this BGR post

Related Articles:
RIM's first BBX BlackBerry smartphones will support BES
'Nobody is telling our story' - RIM's new dev chief tackles mindshare problem
RIM delays BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 to early 2012
RIM: BBX won't run current BlackBerry apps
RIM announces BBX platform, but provides few details