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Research in Motion co-chief executive Jim Balsillie on Tuesday promised the company would release seven BlackBerry smartphones using a next-generation OS in the next several months.
This is big news for Canada’s RIM, which has struggled in the past few years to create new products able to compete head-to-head with phones and tablets on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms. Its most recent product to try to keep the company relevant, the BlackBerry PlayBook, does not have any public sales numbers and received tepid reviews when it launched in April.
Michael Gartenberg, mobile analyst for Gartner, approves of RIM’s move to push phones with a new OS out the gate soon. “It’s definitely time for them to show they can execute on the new platform,” Gartenberg said in an email exchange with VentureBeat. “It’s a time when no one’s platform from last year is good enough for this year and RIM needs to evolve to effectively compete.”
RIM’s BlackBerry OS used to have a considerable lead in the smartphone market worldwide but is now projected to be in fourth place by 2015, after Android, Windows Phone 7, and iOS. So revamping the OS and releasing more powerful phones to run that software makes sense if the company wants to counter those predictions.
Are you looking forward to seeing what RIM can do with its next smartphones?