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RIM CEO: BlackBerry 7 devices will not receive BB10 upgrade

updated 03:45 pm EDT, Wed May 2, 2012

BlackBerry 7 apps said to be compatible with BB10

Speaking at a BlackBerry World press conference, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has admitted that the company has no plans to offer BlackBerry 10 updates for existing devices that run the BlackBerry 7 OS. The company has yet to announce a consumer device that will be powered by the new OS, though developers will be able to test apps on the Dev Alpha handset.

Although BlackBerry 10 is viewed as an upgrade from the existing OS, the company appears to be planning to release new BlackBerry 7 handsets even after the new OS arrives. The only device that has been confirmed to receive a BB10 update is the PlayBook tablet.

The revamped OS brings a new approach to menu organization and multitasking, enabling users to quickly swipe between communication and productivity panes. The company has also developed a virtual keyboard that mimics the characteristic BlackBerry layout, complete with virtual frets, and brings shortcut gestures for frequently typed words.

BlackBerry 10 and related devices are expected to arrive sometime before the end of the year. [via Ubergizmo]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Par for the course

    No big surprise, and not really any different from the dozens of Android handsets that are stuck on earlier versions of the OS.

    What I do find amusing is that you so often read comments about Apple's "planned obsolesces" due to OS updates either not running well on old hardware or not existing. While Apple's desktop OS policy has been a much shorter period of support compared to MS's "everything runs on everything" tack, their mobile OS update path has been *extremely* friendly compared to the competition.

    Now, one could argue that carriers and/or RIM have made the choice to not support an OS that will run badly on old hardware where Apple doesn't mind poor performance, but I think in practice that argument is about as ridiculous as it sounds.

  1. bitwrangler

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    Actually this is very different. We're not talking about a "simple" OS upgrade here, we're basically talking about a brand new OS to replace the old OS. I'm no RIMM lover but personally I think it's smart to make a complete break. To potentially hamstring the new OS by kludging it from the get-go by enforcing legacy hardware compatibility seems to me to be the wrong move to make. Keep BB10 forward thinking and keep BB7 around long enough to allow for a smoother customer transition. Not ideal, but likely the best they can do given current circumstances.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    bitwrangler has it right

    part of the price RIM is paying for being so far behind the curve. Even if BB10 is awesome... will anybody care?

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who cares? BB owners are

    dumping their older smartphones in droves to buy Android smartphones. Any new consumers or converts will just end up buying new BlackBerries with the latest OS on them. No matter how good BB10 OS is, it will have a long hard climb. The company has already been written off by Wall Street. I hope for RIM employees' sake that they're wrong.

  1. UmarOMC

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Agree with Constable...

    We had Bold 9700s as our first smartphone experiences. We just recently dumped the BlackBerry experience for Android. Its still a love/hate relationship and BlackBerry's better at texting and email integration but when I was looking at the Bold 9900 I was disappointed. No auto-focus camera, a paltry screen, albeit touch screen and, dammit, if it has a touch screen integrate the menu and call functions into a larger screen! I really did like the keyboard of the 9700 and the keyboard on the 9900 looked incredible but it was twice the price of the Android devices I was comparing it to. After getting used to it we're quite used to texting with the Androids sans keyboard... web browsing is a lot better, the HTC Sense interface, albeit basic, is a lot better than the BlackBerry OS (not as elegant as anything from Apple), but the same GUI from OS 5 to OS 6 to OS 7!? Come the h*** on...

    Later, RIM.

  1. facebook_Min

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2012


    comment title

    RIM has strange culture and self distruct political environment.

    In RIM if a new hired person figure out major problem and introduce efficient approach, both manager and his buddy group member will proof their wrong approach works. just like someone point out driving a car is right way, pushing a car is wrong way, then both manager and his buddy group member will hate you, and proof that 3 person can also move the car by pushing it. cheating email will be sent to some vice president, saying like: see, the car moving, pushing a car is a natural part of the process, in order to deny new hired contribution of introducing skill of drive a car, they have to deny merit of driving a car.

    It is very strange company culture and strange company political environment, it promote stealing and cheating skill. RIM's management may be a typical instance in MBA course.

    This culture deny or steal hardworking team members' contribution/innovation, generate strange political environment, destroy RIM.

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