BlackBerry OS 7 devices will continue to be supported through the transition to BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry Bold 9900
By Bla1ze on 21 Dec 2012 12:59 am EST
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This might seem all too obvious to some folks considering RIM is still releasing OS's for devices such as the Curve 8900 but it's certainly been on the minds of many. The question of whether or not BlackBerry OS 7+ devices will be supported in the long-term now that BlackBerry 10 is soon to be arriving. As noted by BlackBerry CEO, Thorsten Heins on the latest earnings call, we can expect much support for BlackBerry OS 7 yet:

So just to be very clear, we will not just kind of stop BB7 from being supported. We have a significant R&D team working and continuing to work on BB7. And you just saw us innovating on BB7 as well when we announced the BBM voice capability. So we will maintain BB7. There is a strong success with BB7 devices in the Asia Pac markets. And as you can see on the devices that we’re launching with BB10, you can probably get an idea of in which price points they fit.

So no, we will support those on-boarding, entry-level smartphone markets. We will continue to support them with BlackBerry 7, and you might expect us to even build one of the other new products based on BlackBerry 7. Because for those messaging-oriented markets, it’s an exciting platform and its a really perfect platform.

That's great news for those running BlackBerry OS 7+ devices out there and not quite ready to move to BlackBerry 10 for whatever reason. It's also pretty obvious we're still going to be seeing at the very least, one more of those cost effective devices land as well.

Reader comments

BlackBerry OS 7 devices will continue to be supported through the transition to BlackBerry 10

28 Comments

Heh, not me. Mine never gets those clocks because of data streamlining. Specific backups have been customized, no more of that shit. :)

My 9810 and 9900 are still running great, and with OS7.1.0.794 on them, battery life is better than ever and now I can change the LED right in the profile options. These models are over a year old and are still getting meaningfully OS updates from RIM (we just need our carriers to approve them faster, so the less computer-literate don't have to deal with loading a leaked OS!)

I like it. Although I'm ready for BlackBerry10 I'm not quite sure ill just be kicking my os7 device to the curb either. Its still, hands down the best device to get things done quickly. And as far as messaging goes...I feel like a machine when I'm typing away on this wonderful keyboard.

To sum it up..I'm still very much in love with my current devices :)

Yeah, you can continue to love your BB7 devices. I love mine too. However, once BB10 launches, RIM must put their focus on ensuring BB10 will succeed in ALL markets. They can't be pushing out new BB7 devices anymore -- the existing BB7 devices out there are sufficient for these markets. Sure they can support them with new updates for the next two years, but that should be it -- most folks are on a two year contract, so anything more than two years will become a hindrance to RIM and BB10.

I love my Torch 9810. I also have no use for BB10 until a full physical keyboard device is released, and/or a slider model.

As much as I'd like to support Thor on this one, I think it's a mistake to build another BB7 device. Folks are out there buying competing devices from Samsung and Apple at premium prices. That's the competition. The existing BB7 devices are more than capable of sustaining those markets until prices of the first generation BB10 devices start to fall. That is sure to happen within the first 12 months, so those in the Asia Pac won't have to wait long for cheap BB10 devices. Also, Thor was suggesting 6 BB10 devices this year. I will have to assume quad-core devices and another cheaper dual-core design.

RIM needs to move away from the BB7 platform that has plagued them in recent months. You definitely won't want to have to maintain two app stores. The devices themselves were good, but they will immediately look ancient compared to the BB10 devices and the competition. Continue to support BB7 but DEFINITELY NO NEW BB7 DEVICES! It sends the wrong message, and you will be marketing something that can't compete with Sammy and Apple.

Personally, I think they need the quad-core devices but not another dual-core device, unless we are looking at different configurations -- a slider? a ruggedized model with larger battery? a sexy Porsche designed model for celebrities?

You seem to be mixing who these devices are for with North American standards. Your talking quad-core, dual-core and luxury devices in some markets that are lucky to have stable 3G connectivity and two-year contracts where no contracts even exist. This stuff isn't for North America and not all the markets that such devices would be sold in are as "rich" as others. 

"There is a strong success with BB7 devices in the Asia Pac markets. And as you can see on the devices that we’re launching with BB10, you can probably get an idea of in which price points they fit."

There is no challenge in it, they just use up old parts they already bought and paid for and the app store comment isn't even valid, it's all one app store. it's not as if as soon as BB10 launches all those apps disappear, they'd remain there anyway. It's no hindrance on RIM.

Realistically, any BB 7 device they push out that sells is pretty much profit and maintaining / adding a subscriber. If anything, RIM would be insanely stupid to NOT do it. It's basically turning away a customer who can afford a cheap device but not quite afford / need a BlackBerry 10 device.

+1 exactly as bla1ze said. We don't have subsidised plan here (well two carriers here are trying to offer a 'subsidized' iphone5 now but it's in a different way than in US and the monthly subscriptions are extremely expensive), and we don't have LTE network yet.

By the way, seconhand market is very profitable here. If you have some used phones (in good condition&can be used here) you can sell it here :p People here prefers used iphone4 or 3 than brand new iphone5. Some of my friends bought the used torch than the new monza/orlando/armstrong/davis :p price is a very important factor here :p

Even samsung's most selling devices is not their sIII but their lower cheaper line. IDC did mention about it on their report few months back.

I agree with supporting OS7 devices and the overall platform, but I'd wonder about devoting development resources to releasing any new OS7-based devices once BB10 lineup is out and available mainstream. I see the OS7 support to be a medium term "bridge" for users of OS7 to get into BB10.

To me, I'd prefer to see RIM focus their development assets into introducing a broader BB10 lineup so that there's a model to fit most all user needs & budgets.

How I wish that RIM still find a way to upgrade OS7 devices to BB10... even not in the same full functional level of upcoming BB10 phones, but at least, the basic experience of having it... if the current PlayBook will be and can be upgraded to BB10, what keeping RIM not to do the same upgrade with BB phones having the same specs as PlayBook?...

The promises of continual support on OS7 is only "optional"... any business plan will tell us that it is not economic and profitable to maintain two different OS's for Apps and games, while the other OS will become obsolete and replace by the other OS... and for a company like RIM, "optional" is not even an option for them...

You can't upgrade BBOS to BB 10 - just like you can't upgrade Android to Apple, and vice - versa.
You CAN upgrade PlayBook OS to BB 10 because it is an early alpha build of BB 10.
BBOS is the talking drum, BB 10 is the telephone - you can't convert a talking drum into a telephone. Different technology. Altogether.
Hope this clears up any confusion...

True, continuing support for OS7 can get them more sales in asia pasific, especially in countries that have no subsidized phone plan from carriers. I will get an OS7 before getting a bb10 too. I have to wait for the price to be affordable for me :p

"Because for those messaging-oriented
markets, it’s an exciting platform..."

The vast majority of smartphones buyers are message oriented! What the crap RIM? Get it together! I know the world is not gonna end but I'm positive RIM is coming to its last days.

lol, i for one am not one of those messaging oriented people, but if indeed that was said it makes sense to say that about blackberry buyers, messaging is just about all the current gen blackberry devices are good for. That logic is the past, if rim were sticking with that i would abandon the platform for greener pastures.

He's talking about people who buy smartphones simply for social media features. BlackBerry 10, what with BlackBerry Balance and stuff, are mostly the feature-rich and for hardcore users.

BlackBerry 7 did indeed fulfill the need of those people. Actually, BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 did too, but not in a stylish way that can compete with other, visually appealing OSs

I assume this applies to BB6 as well. Although I'm currently on a Torch 9810, I know several friends with, for example, Curve 9300s. There's lots of OS6 devices still heavily used here in the UK.

and you might expect us to even build one of the other new products based on BlackBerry 7. Because for those messaging-oriented markets,

I am not sure he is talking about building a new phone. it could be a messaging product ..enhanced BBM...

Sweet! I was worried they were going to just forget about BB7 since BB10 is going to be so awesome!

Upgrades usually come down to cost/contracts for most people. For me, my no-contract 9810 runs better than ever thanks to my carriers new OS release and though I want a BB OS 10 device, I'm going to wait for a bit to see how things play out. I am an N-series kind of guy myself and want to see how they're going to handle predictive typing first. I love the form factor of the 9810 (a little of this and a little of that) so if they release a slider, then I'd seriously start collecting bottles to be able to afford that sucker...

I think this is great news! I only got my 9900 a few months ago so while I am very excited for BB10 I will be staying with BB7 for sometime especially until we see more about the N series. I still love the legacy BBOS and I think RIM got it to where it needed to be finally with BB7. I think it's a very good faith move on their part.

I don't think it means they are taking any resources away from BB10 though. The bulk of their resources will be devoted to BB10 but that doesn't mean a small portion of those resources cannot be used to help keep BB7 updated.

well, i have a blackberry bold 9790 and now i know that blackberry 10 is coming out, i am wondering if we can update blackberry 7.1 to blackberry 10 on the same phone ?

Someone else commented above a few comments ago saying it won't be able to happen. BBOS is java-based. BB10 is QNX (unix) based. Two completely different operating systems.