BlackBerry 10 OS may be coming to the PlayBook... someday

RIM says it plans to make its first BlackBerry 10-based handset available towards the end of the year, with the PlayBook to get the software update after that.

RIM's PlayBook will feature BlackBerry 10, according to an executive.
RIM's PlayBook will feature BlackBerry 10, according to an executive. RIM

Research In Motion's BlackBerry 10 operating system will be coming to its tablet, the company has confirmed.

Speaking in an interview published yesterday by U.K. news site Tech Radar, RIM vice president of product management, Rob Orr, said his company will be launching a BlackBerry 10-based handset "towards the end of 2012," and will follow that up by bringing "BlackBerry 10 to our PlayBooks."

RIM has been promoting BlackBerry 10 for months, but the OS so far hasn't seen the light of day. Last month, the blog Crackberry leaked images supposedly originating from "one of RIM's external ad agency partners" that featured BlackBerry devices running what is believed to be the new operating system. One of the more notable images showed the operating system mimicking the functionality of Windows Phone 7's Live Tiles--a feature that has been rumored for quite some time, but never confirmed.

Until now, RIM has only said that BlackBerry 10 will be running on its smartphone line. A BlackBerry codenamed "Colt" was supposed to be the first BlackBerry 10 phone, but according to reports, it has been scrapped. Another phone, codenamed Milan, was initially believed to feature BlackBerry 10, but Boy Genius Report said earlier this year that RIM has decided to bundle BlackBerry 7 with the handset. It appears now that a handset codenamed London is the only device currently slated to run BlackBerry 10 when the operating system launches.

Orr's comments come just a few weeks after RIM updated its tablet's software to BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0. The update delivered key improvements, including support for a native e-mail client with a unified inbox. Built-in calendar and contacts applications were also added to the software, but users hoping to have BlackBerry Messenger were disappointed to find that it's still not available.

If BlackBerry 10 does, indeed, come to the PlayBook, that missing functionality could very well come to the device.

RIM did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on the TechRadar report.

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