BlackBerry maker Research in Motion is rumoured to have scrapped two of the three handsets that it was planning to introduce in 2012, including one that was originally intended to be the first device to run the BlackBerry 10 operating system, formerly known as QNX.
According to online reports, RIM has cancelled the device codenamed Colt, which was intended to be the first BlackBerry 10 phone, and axed another phone codenamed Milan, which BGR reports ran on the current BlackBerry 7 software and had a slide-out keyboard similar to the Torch.
If the rumours are true, this leaves just one BlackBerry 10 device in the works, codenamed “London”. Photos and specs of the BlackBerry London were leaked to The Verge in November 2011, showing a purely touchscreen device equipped with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage and an 8-megapixel camera.
Techworld contacted RIM for comment but the company was unable to respond at the time of writing.
The rumours do not bode well for the future of BlackBerry 10, which RIM was forced to rename last month after its use of the BBX brand ran into a trademark dispute in the US. The company has already delayed the launch of its QNX-based devices phones until the "later part" of 2012, claiming that it wants to use a more advanced chipset that will offer improved power efficiency.
Meanwhile, shipments of RIM's PlayBook tablet – also based on QNX – continue to drop. The company shipped 150,000 during the third quarter of 2011, which ended on 26 November, compared with 200,000 in the second quarter. Net income also dropped dramatically to $265 million, compared with $911 million during the same period in 2010.
Rumours emerged earlier this week at RIM is on the verge of announcing a corporate shakeup that could see co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie relinquish their titles as co-chairmen. Independent director Barbara Stymiest is tipped to replace the pair as the company’s first ever independent chair, following an internal review of the company's governance structure.
RIM agreed to the review last year after activist shareholder Jaguar Financial launched a campaign calling for the company to sack its chief executives. The calls came amid a series of technical faults that left millions of customers around the world without their BlackBerry services.