As the mobile device market becomes ever more saturated with increasingly similar devices, manufacturers are struggling to find new ways to differentiate their offerings from those of their rivals. While a new battleground has been established in software – with device makers now offering value-added services and exclusive apps to integrate with their hardware proposition – many new devices are being introduced as superlative in some way: the thinnest, the greenest, the lightest, and so on.
This struggle to nudge ahead of competitors by marginally besting them on specs has given rise to multicore processors in handsets, of course. But while dual-core processors are becoming more commonplace, quad-core CPUs remain relatively rare, especially in smartphones. Samsung’s new Galaxy S III will have one (in most markets, anyway) – and the same goes for HTC’s One X – but many are bucking the trend.
Research In Motion has positioned itself as a quad-core hold-out, all but confirming that it has no immediate plans to bring these processors to devices running its next-gen BlackBerry 10 operating system.
RIM’s senior vice-president for Software Product Management, Andrew Bocking, told TechRadar: “It’s interesting to see the dynamics between quad-core CPUs and dual-core CPUs, and really where the big value is beyond the spec itself in the overall user experience. What we’re seeing is that unless you’re going to have a lot of applications running that require the four core environment, it’s just a great spec to write on the spec sheet; it’s like saying I’ve got a V8.”
While RIM isn’t ruling out quad-core in the longer term, its immediate focus will be on dual-core processors, and Bocking mocked those who currently chase the four-core dream: “Certain vendors can only compete on spec, so quad-core makes a ton of sense for them. But we want to make sure the performance of our device is the best, and we will make sure we do the right thing for our users.”
While BlackBerry 10 testbed devices have already been made available to developers, the first production handsets aren’t expected to be announced until August, ahead of release in early October. A new device will be your only chance to get the BlackBerry 10 OS; RIM has confirmed that there will be no upgrade path to the new operating system from BlackBerry 7.
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