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Shares in Research In Motion (RIM-T) jumped on Tuesday morning after an analyst praised its new QNX operating system as flexible, portable and likely to be integrated into its smartphones faster than expected.
A Chinese consumer service and the global popularity of its BlackBerry Messenger texting service are boosting RIM's international growth and should carry the Canadian company until it launches new QNX-based products, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said in a research report.
The QNX operating system will make its first appearance in the PlayBook tablet due out early in 2011 and Misek, who upgraded RIM to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ and raised his price target to $80 US from $55 US, said QNX could be tested on handsets in the first quarter.
The operating system can be modified to fit low-end phones and ramp up for more powerful versions and tablets, he said.
It can easily port applications from Google's Android system, potentially giving RIM access to more than 160,000 apps. RIM's own App World contains around 10,000 apps while Apple's App Store has some 300,000.
BlackBerry smartphones have been pressured in their core business and professional market as banks and other corporate customers test whether to allow employees to use Apple's iPhone or Android-based devices to receive work email.
But Misek said RIM retained a strong reputation for its security and will likely only lose 300,000 enterprize subscribers in 2011.
Misek also said telecom companies would increasingly favour RIM's bandwidth efficiency as data-heavy use burdens networks.