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RIM all about PlayBook, BlackBerry apps at CES 2012

RIM's last-minute event gives the smartphone-maker a presence at the all-important CES while it develops its next big thing in the wings.

RIM's PlayBook event invite for CES 2012

Just when we were all convinced it would be a quiet CES for RIM, the BlackBerry-maker springs this, an invitation to an event showcasing the PlayBook and smartphone operating systems.

Positioned more as an educational session rather than a product launch event, RIM's CES presence is clearly all about the BlackBerry App World catalog.

RIM's activity this year stands in sharp contrast to last year's show, which featured a gigantic booth overflowing with conference-goers eager for a glimpse of the yet-unreleased BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, and its celebrity spokesperson, actress Olivia Wilde.

I'm glad that RIM is claiming a stake at CES, however last-minute. While I don't expect the smartphone-maker to announce its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 (aka BBX) smartphone until Mobile World Congress in late February, it's crucial that RIM stays at the top of peoples' minds as it gears up for the next step in its evolution, especially amid its recent bout of troubles.