RIM looks set to unveil its first QNX-based smartphone, codenamed BlackBerry Colt, in early 2012, but to meet the tight deadline it may have to make some concessions according to new information.

The new specs, which come by way of an anonymous source talking to BGR, cite a test device with a single-core processor instead of the multi-core behemoth that was anticipated.

There's also a question mark over native email; the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, RIM's first QNX device, launched without email on board, requiring users to access messages only via an existing BlackBerry handset.

Snail mail

Although RIM is said to be working on a QNX-specific BlackBerry Enterprise Server that would deliver email to the very stringent security levels that RIM insists on, a Q1 2012 launch for the Colt means it will possibly land sans enterprise server email.

So to add email to the Colt, companies will have to use Microsoft ActiveSync, which was built for Windows Mobile and doesn't support any Microsoft PC operating systems later than Windows XP.

Despite an analyst claiming that it would be delayed to the latter half of the year, the current target for the BlackBerry Colt UK release date is the first quarter of 2012, depending on how well internal testing goes.

We've pontificated ourselves that RIM needs to get a wriggle on with its QNX phones in order to stay current and claw back a bit of smartphone self-respect; and we've seen RIM rush out products that aren't as brilliant as they could have been to meet release dates (BlackBerry PlayBook? BlackBerry Torch?) so this rumour is sounding depressingly familiar and therefore quite likely to be true.

rumourometer

Via BGR

Need a new phone before next year? Our smartphone buyer's guide should help you choose which one to go for while you wait for the QNX handsets to land: