updated 08:00 pm EDT, Mon October 3, 2011
BlackBerry X may merge RIM phone, tablet platforms
RIM's BlackBerry DevCon this month may see it take a page from Apple in an OS naming scheme and strategy. New leaks from multiple sources pointed to a more unified platform known as BlackBerry X. CrackBerry understands that it wouldn't represent a jump to revision 10 but instead would reflect the influence of QNX on the new mobile OS.
What differences BBX would have over the interface on the PlayBook wasn't apparent. RIM has already planned to add native e-mail and other basics to the PlayBook's 2.0 update and will at least start from that point.
The naming scheme, while simple, borrows from Apple's naming of Mac OS X. Apple had meant it as a genuine version ten, but the BlackBerry like the Mac will use it to reflect the fundamental shift in technology. QNX gives RIM much stronger multitasking and media features along with an OS better suited to touch. RIM might unintentionally follow the Mac strategy and lose features with the reboot, temporarily losing BlackBerry Enterprise Server support.
The new OS is considered vital to modernizing the BlackBerry. Even in version 7, the OS still using many of the same roots as years-old versions and is limited in what it can do at once or what it can run. Apple and Google have together passed RIM for share worldwide.
DevCon starts on October 18. RIM will likely need developer lead time and, like with the PlayBook, may need a few months to build up app support.