Just won’t work with latest server offering
Canadian handset manufacturer, RIM, is to axe further development of its current Blackberry Enterprise Service platform after struggling to integrate it with its latest QNX operating system. Sources close to the company say embattled RIM will cease development of its current server platform after the release of 5.0.4, meaning that users of ageing, Java-based phones from the Blackberry 7 and older will be bereft of future support, apart from security patches. Early next year RIM is due to roll out its new Blackberry 10 handsets which will interact with the manufactuer’s new QNX-based platform.
Initially the company had hoped to integrate the two platforms but, according to the sources, has now thrown in the towel.
In future, corporate customers who want to deploy Blackberry 10 handsets simultaneously with older phones will have to run the two service platforms in parallel – a hassle and expense most customers could do without.
Compounding problems, it’s said, will be the inability of the new BlackBerry server software to handle the bulk of features delivered by the older server such as emails, contacts and calendars.
It’s claimed that RIM’s failure to get QNX devices to work with its Network Operation Centre is why its BlackBerry PlayBook initially shipped without email or the Blackberry Messenger functions.
The problem was eventually overcome by re-configuring the Playbook to act as a local client and by-passing the famed back-end technology.
RIM has so far declined to comment.
Back in 1999, BlackBerries were the first corporate mobiles that allowed employees to get their email on the road in real time.
But in recent years RIM, like other mobile phone makers, has failed to keep pace with the likes of Apple and Samsung with the result that sales to the general public have fallen off dramatically.
Its share price has has similarly plunged, while in June  it announced a far higher-than-expected $518 million net loss for its first quarter.
It has led to wide speculation that the company might be taken over or at least sell off its prized enterprise server platform, with rivals as diverse as Samsung, Microsoft and IBM all said to be sniffing around.
Latest: RIM boss Thorsten Heins has started to put together crack troops for the roll-out of BB10 in Europe, promoting UK and Ireland chief Stephen Bates to the new job of European m.d. Former product manager Rob Orr will take his place.