RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie CONFIRMS BlackBerry 6.1 is now called BlackBerry 7 on Investors Call

BlackBerry 7
By Kevin Michaluk on 28 Apr 2011 05:43 pm EDT

He just said it on tonight's investors call.... what "we're now calling BlackBerry 6.1 BlackBerry 7.  It's such a big update from 6."

So if you weren't sure we were right yesterday when I said BlackBerry 6.1 is being renamed BlackBerry 7, now you know. I'm looking forward to seeing it in action next week at BlackBerry World! Maybe on a nice BlackBerry Bold Touch?

Reader comments

RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie CONFIRMS BlackBerry 6.1 is now called BlackBerry 7 on Investors Call


I guess you'll just have to wait til next week to know that right unless you somehow know something we don't...

hey the numbering system can't get any sillier than what you get with google chrome.. a change in the about section probably dictates a whole new number :P

as a developer I don't see how a .1 change can be enough to be considered a full version update. Thats crazy! seems just like marketing and wanting to sell more phone buy saying its 7.0.

I too would like to figure out how dramatically different this OS really is from OS6? (scratching head) Please don't tell me the huge number jump is due to that digital compass. That would be laughable at how out of touch RIM can be at times.

I know it's not set in stone, but if the rumours are true that previous devices will not be getting OS7, then RIM can't be surprised that they're selling cheaper devices. Who's going to drop major cash on a company that can't figure out it's OS direction. So we have OS7 now, and QNX when? So much uncertainty.

Why buy a phone if you won't be getting new features a year later? (On a 3 year contract no less)

I spent 600 bucks to upgrade to a Torch 6 months ago, that is now rumoured to be not getting OS7. I'm begging you RIM, release an OS7 lite, otherwise I'm getting close to being done with you.

Can you imagine if your computer wasn't able to install the newest version of Windows or Mac, just a year after you bought it? People would be screaming bloody murder. Although, Mac did do that with their transition from PPC to Intel.

Please give us Torch owners some love!

When 7 was 6.1, OS6 devices weren't going to get 7, they were going to get 6.1 lite. I would say it's pretty safe to assume that OS6 devices will support OS7 lite but not 8 (QNX).

Why would you pay $600 for a phone in the first place? People don't buy computers every year, or two or three or four years for that matter. You're comparing apples to oranges.

Unless a company specifically says at the time you buy your phone that it will be compatible with their next OS iteration, you should have no expectation that it will.

I agree that the numbering system just got bumped up and should still be applicable to current OS 6 phones. RIM probably felt justified that this update was big enough to demand more presence.

In saying that, if the bump was indeed to cover their arse because 6.1 (now 7) just wouldn't work on os 6 devices efficiently, then it certainly won't save them from the backlash (but i doubt it) :P

I certainly don't buy products expecting things that aren't promised especially new OS iterations. The playbook and xoom are borderline only because they have been promised things down the line but even that should be taken lightly and I can understand peoples hesitancies in jumping in.

i share your sentiments on this. if my torch doesn't get some kind of update, i'm pretty much done with rim and their blackberry

I think many users or USED will feel that way, for me, now we have Live Profile, I don't need RIM, I can now text BBM style to 90% of my contacts instead of the 10% who have Blackberry.

Look at the worldwide app support for iOs and Android as well compared to Blackberry phones, who half the time either get charged for apps that are free on other OS, or don't get the app at all because they don't live in USA or Canada!!

I agree with you. This is always been my biggest complaint with RIM. You buy a phone, and not even a week goes buy, only to find out that none of the future upgrades will work. One poster said "thats business", my retort is, "no, that's incompetence". RIM needs to ensure that it supports its existing phone models instead of saying, thanks for buying one one this week, sucks to be you but you should buy a new one next week. But given RIM's history, anybody who buys a phone this year is out of luck - you dont exist for RIM.

I assume mac is the same, but windows did not give free upgrades to xp, vista, 7 to all computer owners when they came out

Nooo... listen to the call. it's BlackBerry 6.1.  But with the liquid graphics and much faster cpus i guess the experience is THAT MUCH better than 6.  definitely didn't make it out to sound like it's QNX.

I was listening. I know he said 6.1 is now 7 and went through all the features that corresponded with the leaked slides of 6.1...its just that he was saying this is a new generation of phones that will set the architecture for their future.

And I know he already said QNX will have to wait til 2012 too. Maybe I was just hoping for some nice surprise after the beating RIM took today =(

yeah he sure does make it seem that way. that would be ideal. if the whole time they were just working on the playbook as a feeler to get their phones ready for this year. im more interested in the interaction of devices he speaks of.






.... sighs

im done! this is garbage in december i upgraded to a 9780 and in a few months its obsolete...lol what b.s. thanks rim not only does your appworld screw me buy buying apps only to have them disappear and never get them back now youre screwing me with a device.. i used to love blackberry but now its just one bad thing after another...thanx you had better listen to the most important part of your business your customers because wether you like it or not they are all jumping ship!!!!!

I hoped I am wrong, but I get a sense this is just spin to make it sound more impressive than it actually is since this has been done many times before (when announcing OS 6 or the Torch for example).

If '7' is essentially OS6 (in terms of UI and function) but just faster due to the improved hardware it will be a letdown. They should have kept it 6.1 and kept '7' for the QNX based OS.

You can pretty much guarantee now that anything current wont get '7' but we will get 6.1 lite (though since they are changing 6.1 to 7, I figure they may as well just change 6.1 lite to 6.1, no?). And while some state when buying a phone you should have no expectation of software upgrades... that's a little weak. Sure, maybe something a couple of years old might not get it, but Bold 9780 owners who have had their phones for less than 6 months, or Torch owners, shouldn't be screwed over. Unless you are doing something 'revolutionary' like MS has had to do with Windows Phone where you had to cut the cord and start fresh. We know (or assume) QNX based phones will be such a break from the past for blackberry so doing another break now for '7' just to do another one again for QNX based OS is asking a lot of your customers. I'm a loyal user but as I buy my phones outright, I find it tough to fork out $600 every year for a new phone.

Anyways... guess we will see next week or whenever Blackberry World happens...

Well i am always amazed at how the same comments keep appearing. First this should have been there in OS 6, why? and no matter what is released it should always have been there, but that is what is called software they keep adding things.

When iOS came out with no cut/copy/paste and other things that BB OS had no one said it should have been there when the upgrade came along. Only BB users keep saying this, they forget the things they have that no one else have and the reason they love BB.

No one, no one owns a Blackberry because they LOVE RIM, everyone loves RIM because of their BB. so if you are using it it is because you like it so keep using it.

If the device you bought this year can not handle next year's OS so what? where does it say that RIM guarantees that your device will run the next OS, plus we do not know anything yet, look at OS 6 everyone complained and then it was released on many older devices even the 9700.

So why are people always threatening to leave, just leave. I have my Torch and happy with it and i got it because i liked it more than any other device i was not forced to buy it. If you where forced to buy it then just be patient you can not do much anyways. If you want to switch that means you can afford a new device and you can get the newer BB.

And since we know QNX is coming in 2012 as a BB Torch owner i will wait one year and then get the super duper phone if i have reason to upgrade.

The new phones seem fast and pretty sharp and they deserve their own OS.

Android and iOS started form scratch it easy to build new hardware and sell it. But when you have 10 years of legacy and building a new platform you need to migrate your current users even if you lose some along the way that is normal. But if you rush you will lose them all.

We can all complain how slow they where and this and that, at the end of the day we are not the ones with over 50 million users it's RIM.

iPhone and Android phone users according to a survey are always changing their minds, and when RIM releases BB that are a fashion statement also they will get many of them back. But for the time being many of those who own a BB are using it because they love it and those that do not would have switched or want to switch soon and if they complain it' s because they want to stay and should just stay.

It's only been about 7 months since they last released new phones. You should be impressed (I guess) if anything is released in less than a year.

Actually I'm not, I got the Torch right away, save it's form factor, it was really my 9700, which was actually as good as my 8900, only reason I switched from 8900 to 9700 was the trackpad, other than that, 8900 actually had a better keyboard but is the same phone. I got the Torch because I wanted the Touch screen, wife and kids still have the 9700's, and I will tell you, not much more can be done on Torch than 9700, pretty much the same.

Moral of the comment, they haven't released fuck all new anything cept a sliding touchscreen in almost 3 years. Nothing.

they managed to count to 7 ;)

hey at least it doesn't take a year for them to release one phone :P

I'm a businessman and I agree with RIM...want a new OS? Buy one of the new devices, otherwise stick to your current phone and enjoy its running OS just like the first day you had it on your hands (remember all that excitement? "It comes with OS 5.0!" "It comes with OS 6.0!").

I own a Bold 9700, best phone ever. I'm so thankful to RIM since they allowed us 9700 users to upgrade to OS 6.0, but I wouldn't have cried if they didn't. That's why I'm keeping it until QNX powered phones come out. Not interested in the upcoming OS 7.0 devices since my 9700 works just perfect and does pretty much what I need.

Hey, you want to keep up to tech trends? You gotta PAY, baby!! It's business!!!

Hey, you want to keep up to tech trends? You gotta PAY, baby!! It's business!!!

I AM LOVING THAT COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll be the last one to support RIM unconditionally, but in this case I'm siding with them. I really don't see why people are so upset. Were you upset when it was called 6.1? It's still the same OS, they're just calling it something different; and they're putting on a face about why they're doing it. The reality is that the term 6.1 is likely to confuse your average consumer. They are going to wonder what 6.1 signifies, what 6 was like, why they should pick a 6.1 phone over 6, etc. You must realize that the vast majority of the population does not spend their time on Crackberry investigating upcoming technology. To those people, BlackBerry 7 sounds like the latest and greatest, no questions asked. And the graphics updates paired with the other features and improved hardware constitute enough for them to be able to get AWAY with calling it BlackBerry 7 to the majority, not to JUSTIFY the change in the eyes of techies everywhere.

If there was a 6.1 Lite version, there will be a 7 Lite. It's still the same OS. Let's hope the current phones can run OS7 Lite. If they can't, then welcome to the world of technology. Everyone wants Blackberry to catch up with the times but no one wants be the consumer whose needs get skipped over in their effort to catch up. We will see the same thing when QNX comes out in 2012. Personally, it won't bug me. My Bold Touch will then be obsolete, but I'll stick with it till 4G networks get the kinks out and RIM perfects QNX. Then I'll upgrade eventually and catch myself up with the times. This is what you have to do when the technology moves faster than the duration of your contract.

Some would say the process is not fair; but I wouldn't ask RIM to slow its advances solely for the sake of ensuring that the technology is backward compatible with older phones. It would be nice if they could balance it reasonably, but the QNX transition especially will be jarring due to hardware requirements.

AMEN BROTHER! I couldn't of said it better. I have a Sprint Curve 8330 now since June 09, and I've been bat-shit happy with it, but like you said, technology leap frogs over 2yr contracts, and just like buying a PC, try and get the best at the time and hope it last you for awhile...and if you get a BB device and then six months later, a new one comes out, so what? If you have that frame of mind, you'll be spending a helluva lotta money for every 6-8 months of new technology. I've sat back and passed on the Tour, the Bold and the Style...but I'm grabbing a Bold Touch 9930 when it's released and know that it'll be my device for 2yrs...to me, its really not such a big deal to hold on to a device for the length of the contract.

7 year long BB User/Fanboy here, Jim, get your act together.

There is no reason with all the money and resources at your disposal, you cannot put up QNX phones in the next 2 weeks.

The fact that you cannot shows that you have been sitting on your laurels and doing sweet fuck all.

As for the apologist commentators here, fuck off, I really care that this company does well and I do feel that they have the best things going generally speaking, so forgiving these 2 years long constant basic strategic mistakes has grown tiresome and is putting the company at risk.

The Playbook took too long and the superphones are taking WAAAAAAAY to long. Don't announce some useless "1.2 Mhz phone till we get QNX out some time later we don't know when" shit. Make them nuclear and put them out now, cause honestly, the world is not filled with BB fans like me.

I'm at the point where I am questioning like the rest of the world, the leadership capabilities of these two dudes.

Sorry Sherlock a Typo. Did you run and tell your girlfriend how you avoided a paradigm shift on the internet by highlighting my earth shattering mistake?

Well well, FabFriggin'Freddie, isn't it nice to read such well-argued comments. Such a compelling command of the word 'fuck', sadly underrated amongst reasonable adults.
And what a fine rebuttal when someone tries to let out some the hot air that you've been blowing into this discussion by pointing out an irrelevant mistake.

Really, a grade A effort, aren't we all lucky you grace us with your presence?

But make no mistake about it, the real 'earth shattering mistake' you made was mouthing off in such a dumb fashion. There may have been interesting points somewhere in your comments, but I couldn't look past the mountain of sour manure you put in front of it all, so I missed these gems...

Ergo, with all the respect that I think you are due right now, kindly sod off back under the rock where you normally hang out and either choke on the shit coming out of your mouth, or acquire some manners if you want grown-ups to listen to you.

I don't particularly care if you are thrown aback by my use of profanity in emphasizing my anger, I am sure they are being thrown around the board room this morning in copious amounts. It is lame ass apologists like yourself that let Rim put out great products 2 years to late.

Those QNX phones need to be introduced on Monday and need to go on sale a week after that with real advertising.

There is no excuse, they have owned QNX for a year now.

It must be a humiliation for some at Rim, 2 years go by and they pop out............another identical bold. :( :( :(

Even my Torch, it took 7 OS re-installs just to get the thing working optimally, after nearly a year of release I can actually open a webpage that won't close cause it's too big. Enough already.

I am a BB fanboy, but you can't be a fanboy of a non existent product from a non existent company cause the idiocy of it's leadership and the apologists such as yourself did not do what was needed and decimated the stock so bad it had to be taken over by rivals.

As for your pathetic false outrage at the use of profanity during my rants, call a whaaaambulance and fuck off, I could care less what YOU think I should be including in my comments.

Tell you the truth I don't think it matters what they call it or if devices are upgradeable or not. Myself I buy a phone for what it is at the point of purchase a chance to upgrade is only a bonus. I am currently using a 9700 so won't be no chance of an upgrade to os7 or 6.1 lite.

People threatening to leave rim and blackberry for ios or android is getting a bit old now. If you want to change that much just do it we don't want to hear about it. I just hope you have fun charging your new toys once or twice a day.

Yeah, charging the new toy twice a day is what this fabfreddie dude is going to do with his "two weeks from now" developed QNX BB phones. I agree with every word you've just written.

No, it's not old, read today's headlines dumbass, your outlook was once true when they sold phones no matter what, but now, today, a couple hours ago, are admitting that they are selling less phones and the ones they do sell they don't make as much money.

The days of hiding in the sand are over, I rely on this company a fair bit, and I have enjoyed their products for years, but enough is enough, they need to get thos QNX phones with all the bells and whistles out next week, or the market will destroy them and guys like you will say "what happened"?????????

I have to charge my Torch daily if I use it for anything other than standby, it is very rarely on or above 50% battery by the end of the day so I am never confident I can get it to last 2 days. My daughter who has a 8520 also charges hers at least once a day because she uses hers for BBM, SMS and facebook quite a bit.

I think many users or USED will feel that way, for me, now we have Live Profile, I don't need RIM, I can now text BBM style to 90% of my contacts instead of the 10% who have Blackberry.

Look at the worldwide app support for iOs and Android as well compared to Blackberry phones, who half the time either get charged for apps that are free on other OS, or don't get the app at all because they don't live in USA or Canada!!

RIM = Fail. They need QNX to save them and this isn't going to do anything. Just putting more makeup on an old os is just not going to cut it.

Lipstick on a pig you say right? well, it worked for Apple didn't it?

Anyway, i don't think you can complain until you use the OS. It may look the same, but there could be a number of underlying changes underneath.

RIM should have a special division specifically to hear and evaluate the input from the consumers and market

I read every comment and what I take away from it is that a lot of people love their blackberries, even those hating and threatening, they all want the company to do well.

I hear the frustration, but I think RIM faces a tougher problem than some of you think. Y ou are saying essentially give us phones that look nice like iPhone and Android, but what you don't gdt is that if RIM did this they would also have the battery life of those products and they would get beat to death for it.

Lets see if the liquid graphics they keep talking about are enough.

But honestly for those complaining about lack of upgrades I can honestly say this, get a playbook. Since I've had mine I rarely use my phone for anything other than the most basic stuff, and you'll get lots of OS updates for free.

I'm getting the new Bold touch because my contract is up, but I'm not bothered about whether it'll run QNX because I know I will only ever use it for email, calendar and phone.

omg @comments
All i read is crying *cry cry sniff* my blackberry bold 9780 (os 6) stops working/is out-dated when os7 goes live*

Every time those stupid presumption, "OS 6.1 lite" LAUGHING OUT LOUD
Just wait and lets see what RIM brings us. Jesus... just USE your BlackBerry, whether it's old or new.

ah and >90% of comments: omg omg my torch is old, now i need the new one! BlackBerry Torch Awesome with integrated OS7 of course... hm i cannot afford it right the moment it goes live? creditcard! :-) and iam good to go! *ching ching* the a.-way of life ;)

argh... calm down! Be happy with your os6

In my opinion, hardware is what makes BB great. Although I sympathise with 9780, Torch, and Storm 2 owners to an extent (mainly due to RIM seeming total lack of predictable direction over the last two years), your phone will still be great with your current OS. I'm sure that people who leave BB find that they really miss the great keyboards and all BBs have these. I'm really looking forward to the Bold Touch, and the reasons are that it will have the wonderful 9000 dimensions (ohhh baby) and to a lesser extent the touchscreen. Sure, I'm sure I'll enjoy the other stuff, but all BBs are just great communication devices. If you're ever in any doubt, refer to Kevin's great 'Smartphone Hierarchy of Needs' article :)

I am seriously thinking about switching to a Droid Pro phone. After the PlayBook flop now the OS 6.1 troubles.

Playbook outselling every Droid tablet on the Market, but to you it's a flop. Honestly, so sick of hearing BB crybabies who even lie so they can cry more. Only two words for people like you F$?# Off!

If the vast majority of the changes in os7 are related to new hardware features or higher specs, does it really matter if older devices don't get an os7 lite, just include things that would work on os6 such as the manage homescreen panes in with the normal os6 updates.

What I dont like on RIM is, that they dont care about the owners of old devices and concentrate the development only to new OS. I dont think we will get some interesting features to OS 6.

Enough of the talk and number changing. Just get the damn thing out the door to the consumers.

Blah Blah Blippity Blah, How about we all take our "OLD CRAPPY", lol, phones go outside and maybe take a picture or two. Cause sitting on here complaining about what a multi-billion dollar company does gets you NO WHERE. LOL :D

Just one question to those of you complaining and crying that your current phone wont support an OS that is not out yet:

Did you complain when Windows 7 was released and you r 6 yr old 512Mhz computer with your 13gig hd would not run it? No! you new it was outdated and you bought a new computer!

Suck it up, and welcome to the world of ever changing technology.

I see so many of these comments on Crackberry were the person gets fed up with RIM/BlackBerry, and grabs a Droid or HTC or iphone, only to bitch and complain how it's battery hog, then returns it, and gets the latest BlackBerry :) I have a Curve 8330, and my contracts up June 07th and just for the heck of it, i've been trying out an Evo, Evo Shift, iphone and the only way i'd change from a BlackBerry is if the Bold Touch 9930 is a dud (which from the youtube vids, this thing FLYS, great speed) and Sprint somehow gets an iphone, other than that, i'm grabbing the Bold Touch 9930 baby!

You all liked your phones when you bought them why you complaining now . RIM should only be responsible to fix or update the OS you purchased with your phone not update you to the next OS. When you buy a computer and Microsoft releases a new version of its OS its not free or guaranteed to work on previous model PC's . You can't advance it to the future while you got to drag the old with you.

Don't know about that, I have a almost three year old desktop and I'm able to run Windows 7 on it perfectly. Computers are usually built not only to handle the software/stuff that's on it now but as well as future technology. An example is Windows Vista didn't run great on my computer, I upgraded to Windows 7 and it runs a whole lot better than vista did and that was WITHOUT any change to the hardware. So maybe OS6 is like the Vista of the BB world, and 7 is going to be a much better release. Maybe it will be compatible with some of the newer BBs.

That's just my 2cents, I'm new to BB, I just bought my first BB (Bold 9650). I wasn't around for all the OS6 talk, but I'm sure people said the same things they are saying now, that the Torch was going to be the only device that had OS6 and every device after that, but yet they managed to put in other BBs. I'm thinkin the same thing will happen to this one.

For those of you upset & frustrated with the news that OS7 not going to work with your device, I can relate to this trend that RIM has started and seems to continue. This type of thinking is the beginning of a downward spiral and the start of a mobile company treading water in a pool of sharks. They obviously are not ahead of the game as they once were and lack the vision to outdo the competition. Yes, they were once a great company and have features I wish my new iPhone had, but that wasn't enough to make me stay. I also think RIM was the most secure platform which is why I would hope to see them succeed plus the added competition makes for better devices to us, consumers. They need to pay attention to all this negative feedback or there may not be a RIM over the next couple years.