A big fish at BlackBerry pickers RIM has confirmed that the BlackBerry Tablet OS -- shown off with the new PlayBook this week -- will find its way into smart phones.
An unnamed RIM vice president was said to have confirmed the QNX-built operating system will be in all BlackBerrys at some point in the future, according to Intomobile. He said a transition from BlackBerry 6 would take some time, and that BlackBerry 7 would probably come before the switch. Senior RIM management has signalled a move might make sense. Alan Brenner, senior vice president of the BlackBerry platform, told Bloomberg, "There's no reason to rule it out."
The current version of the BlackBerry OS has been overtaken in terms of functionality and usability by rivals Android and iOS, and BlackBerry 6 is not going to be RIM's saviour. As Microsoft has shown with Windows Phone 7, sometimes the only thing to do is start from scratch.
RIM's policy of refreshing old lines such as the Bold and Curve has not stopped it losing market share, while the lack of fuss over the touchscreen BlackBerry Torch shows it isn't that much of a step forward, and was never likely to be. We've given the phone three stars, with the touchscreen experience simply not on a par with that from the latest devices from HTC and Apple.
The question is whether RIM should delay and continue on the same path with the BlackBerry for a while, or make changes now. BlackBerry devices are still extremely popular, but as we know, the smartphone market can change quickly and it pays to keep moving forward. What should RIM do?