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RIM promises continued BlackBerry OS 7 support

Older handsets running the OS may be sold as budget devices

By MARK JONES

Published: 21 December, 2012

READ MORE: US | Research In Motion | OS

BlackBerry OS 7 may have been a bit down on its luck lately but that doesn't mean RIM has given up on it as the launch of BB10 approaches. In comments made by the company's CEO Thorsten Heins this week in a conference call it has become clear that BB10 isn't the end of the road for BB7 with continued support promised for the platform.

In addition to existing users not having to worry about lack of support for their devices it seems there might be plans to introduce new hardware running BB7 in the future, as entry-level budget devices. RIM apparently has a "significant R&D team" working on BB7 with its success in the Asia Pacific market given as the reason for the company's continued interest in the platform.


RIM's decision sounds very similar to Microsoft's plans for Windows Phone 7.8. Although it's a dead end of an OS it's going to find a home on cheap entry-level devices for people who don't mind not having the full Windows Phone experience.

The conference call where the future plans of BB7 were hinted at followed on from the release of the company's Q3 earning report where lower revenues and a decreasing subscriber base offered further evidence of RIM's decline.

While handsets running BlackBerry's old OS look set to offer an interesting sideline in the future for RIM it's still betting the farm on the success of BB10 which will be launched in just over a month. There has been plenty of information shared about the OS in the run up to its release but the exact details of the hardware it's going to be running on have proved a bit of a mystery.

This week a leak outed the first BB10 handset as the Z10 and though its specs were not mentioned it is apparently going to be available in black and white.

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