CANADIAN GADGET MAKER Research in Motion (RIM) has confirmed that its current Blackberry devices won't be upgraded to its upcoming Blackberry 10 operating system (OS).
At the beginning of the week The INQUIRER was out in Amsterdam at RIM's first Developer Conference in Europe where we got a demonstration of the Blackberry 7.1 and Playbook OS 2.0. In the video we took the opportunity to ask Vivek Bhardwaj, head of software portfolio at RIM whether phones and the Playbook would get an update to Blackberry 10 when it arrives.
He told us, "Our currently Blackberry line of smartphones will still remain based on our current Blackberry operating system."
We double checked this with RIM to make sure, and it said, "Blackberry 10 is designed to work on next generation Blackberry smartphones but will not be able to run on the current Blackberry 7 OS (or earlier) devices."
This came as a bit of a surprise since new versions of rival OSs like Apple's IOS, Microsoft's Windows Phone and Google's Android get rolled out to most, if not all, older devices. Blackberry owners won't take this news kindly and it could be a major reason not to opt for a RIM smartphone until Blackberry 10 devices arrive.
A similar thing happened when Blackberry 7 tipped up and older devices weren't able to be upgraded due to technological differences. A pattern seems to be emerging here.
We also asked Bhardwaj whether the Playbook tablet would be updated, to which he said, "The Playbook will continue to progress and evolve and lead the road towards Blackberry 10."
The line he gave was a bit hazy so we checked with RIM on this one too. Luckily for Playbook owners the news is much more positive.
RIM said, "Blackberry 10 is being designed for both next generation Blackberry smartphones, as well as for the Blackberry Playbook. Owners of Blackberry Playbook today will be able to update their tablet to the BlackBerry 10 OS via a free software update once the software is generally available." µ