With BlackBerry 10 delayed and the CEO putting out fires over RIM’s “death spiral“, the press, stockholders and fans called into question whether RIM has any future at all, but now a leaked presentation document details RIM’s roadmap to a possible renaissance.
The slide was obtained by BlackBerryOS.com from an unnamed source. While the authenticity of the slide is in question, the content of the slide would seem to jibe with the most recent RIM news. During the BlackBerry World conference in early May, RIM announced BlackBerry 10 devices would be coming in fall 2012. But last week’s announcement pushed the BlackBerry 10 release to next year, and this late (if discouraging) development is reflected in the slide.
Real or not, the roadmap is intriguing.
The single PowerPoint slide shows the release of the PlayBook 4G (codenamed “Winchester”) in the fourth quarter of 2012. This updated tablet would run the current flavor of the BlackBerry OS (version 7), not BlackBerry 10.
The slide lists a larger tablet codenamed “Blackforest ” for the third quarter of 2013. Nothing on the slide explains the 128 designation, but our guess is that this refers to 128GB of storage — a bold move considering most tablets max out at 64GB of memory. Irregardless, a 10-inch tablet would put RIM in direct competition with the iPad. What’s more, RIM’s first quarter results for 2012 showed just 260,000 PlayBook units sold. In direct comparison, Apple has currently sold 11.8 million iPads during its second quarter of 2012.
Two other devices that show up on the roadmap — “Nashville” and “Naples” — are a mystery. Because they start with the letter “N,” one might speculate that the devices could be new handsets with hardware keyboards, just like the Nevada. Or they could be just about anything.
On Tuesday, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins posted a letter outlining the tough road ahead for RIM and the, “painful but necessary steps to focus our resources and build a lean, nimble organization focused intently on bringing BlackBerry 10 to market.”