updated 11:10 am EST, Mon March 7, 2011
BlackBerry roadmap shows version 7 in November
RIM's software strategy for 2011 has been given out in full with a roadmap that showed the first signs of BlackBerry 7. The future OS is said to be starting "core integration" in mid-October and to have finished by the end of November. N4BB's copy didn't say for sure if it would bring in the new QNX foundations behind the PlayBook or if this meant shipping devices.
BlackBerry App World for the PlayBook should come early this month, supporting notions that the tablet would be ready for March.
Also on the schedule is a new BlackBerry News app in May that would mark an end to recent acquisition Viigo's services in August. BlackBerry Internet Service 4.0 is due this month and would be followed up by 4.1 in late July. Rumors new BIS update would tie e-mail to a BlackBerry ID and let users sign on once to get virtually everything, including mail and BlackBerry App World downloads, and should have an improved interface, better Google Calendar hooks and more intelligent messages to the user.
The details aren't confirmed, but the release of BlackBerry Protect and the shuttering of the official Flickr app have both happened on schedule and suggest the roadmap is accurate. If so, it could see RIM's promises of the PlayBook influence on phones coming true much faster than anticipated. It could also lead to the 2011 BlackBerry phones possibly being eligible for BlackBerry 7.