No BlackBerry OS 6 for RIM BlackPad?

BlackBerry OS 6 logo

RIM's much-rumoured BlackPad tablet may not run the company's new BlackBerry OS 6 operating system at all, according to the latest reports.

Instead, claims Bloomberg, the Canadian firm will turn to software developed by QNX Software a company it bought for $200 million in April. QNX's real-time OS technology is currently used on a number of platforms, including ARM, PowerPC and x86 typically in in-car systems and other non-disk-based applications.

However, QNX Software's existing developer base and the company's simple and streamlined OS underpinnings were clearly also part of what attracted RIM, and several elements of QNX were expected to find their way into RIM's BlackBerry OS 6, which was officially released this month with the launch of the BlackBerry Torch.

But with BlackBerry OS 6 showing little sign of QNX's influence, a separate theory arose: that RIM was following in the footsteps of the likes of Nokia with MeeGo and working on a twin-OS strategy, with the second OS strongly influenced by QNX set to offer a different user experience on the BlackPad.

According to Evercore Partners analyst Alkesh Shah, basing the BlackPad's OS on QNX underpinnings could give it greater hands-on appeal to independent software developers, helping to differentiate the RIM tablet from the strongly consumer-focused Apple iPad.

"The iPad is very much a device for consuming," Shah told Bloomberg. "[But] what's not out there is a tablet for creating, for production."

Another popular theory is that the BlackPad will ultimately come in two guises one of them effectively a companion device for the BlackBerry smartphone. This theory also makes room for the QNX-based OS approach, especially with the latter's reputation for being well suited to a wide range of applications.

The RIM BlackPad is expected to launch in November.