Updated BlackBerry 2012 Roadmap

BlackBerry 2012 Roadmap
By Adam Zeis on 27 Jan 2012 03:34 pm EST

Since we first posted our 2012 BBX BlackBerry Preview some new info has come to light that changes things up a bit. For the most part we knew what was coming device-wise but our timeline was a bit off. Now some other devices have come into play and some dates have been shuffled around a bit. We can expect to see some new BlackBerry 7 devices in the Curve line, a new updated BlackBerry PlayBook as well as at least one BlackBerry 10 (oh yeah, RIM changed the name of BBX to BlackBerry 10 too) phone hit before the end of 2012. Keep reading and we'll take a look at what to expect in the coming months.

Updated BlackBerry 2012 Roadmap

Q1 - New BlackBerry Curve 9320 and 9220

The first new devices that we'll most likely see are the BlackBerry Curve 9320 and Curve 9220. These devices carry on the Curve name and will be more entry-level devices that will most likely start out big in emerging and global markets. The BlackBerry Curve 9320 will be an HSPA device while the Curve 9220 will be EDGE. These devices will be running BlackBerry 7 and will be a great option for those looking to get into BlackBerry for the first time or wanting an inexpensive upgrade to older devices. Expect to see the Curve 9220 around March/April and the Curve 9320 shortly thereafter. 

BlackBerry Curve 9320 Specs
BlackBerry Curve 9320 Specifications
BlackBerry Curve 9220 Specs
BlackBerry Curve 9320 Specifications


Q2 - Updated BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry PlayBook Specs
Updated PlayBook features 1.5Ghz processor and HSPA+

Also slated for a mid-year release is an updated BlackBerry PlayBook. For now we're calling it the "BlackBerry PlayBook 3G" or "3G BlackBerry PlayBook", but it's highly doubtful it will hit the market with that name. We've heard rumors of an LTE version which sounds more likely. The updated tablet should be sporting the same look and feel (it will still be 7") but will have some revamped hardware inside. The new PlayBook will remain at 7" and sporting a 1.5GHz dual core processor, 42Mbps HSP+ connectivity (so you can get online fast from anywhere) and Near Field Communication (NFC) like that on the newer Curve models and the Bold 9900/9930. So all around some good upgrades that look to make the next PlayBook even better. Don't forget we should be seeing the PlayBook OS 2.0 sometime in the next month as well, so that will make things even better when the 3G PlayBook hits the street.

Q3 - BBX Phones in Late 2012

RIM's first BlackBerry 10 device, codenamed the BlackBerry London,  should be launching late in 2012 as well. We most likely won't see it until around September at the earliest. This isn't really a secret however as we've been told already not to expect anything before "late 2012". The other BlackBerry 10 device that we hope to see later this year is the BlackBerry Nevada. This device is said to be part of the Bold line and feature a touchscreen as well as full QWERTY keyboard. So it's pretty much a BlackBerry lover's dream as it still has everything we love about BlackBerry but packs in BlackBerry 10 -- awesome.

So overall it's safe to say 2012 will be a year of transition for RIM. It's like the Curve 9320 and Curve 9220 will be the last new BlackBerry 7 devices to roll out, and from there on it will be BlackBerry 10 all the way. We still have quite a wait until we get to see a BB10 phone live and in color, so we can only hope that come BlackBerry World or the BlackBerry Developers Conference, we'll have something to play around with. I for one am really excited at the thought of seeing two BB10 phones (BlackBerry London and BlackBerry Nevada) before the end of the year, but we'll see if that pans out. 

Source: BGR

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Updated BlackBerry 2012 Roadmap


I wouldn't doubt if any of this stuff is fiction since the slides show specific words using Canadian English spelling yet other slides show US English spelling. You'd think there would be consistency.

So if I understand it right, upgrading to OS7 is like buying an outdated phone right off the back as once Blackberry 10 is released that, no more OS7. Short life. I need more reason to stay. Like a major rebate on a soon (if I can feel good about it) OS7 phone when 10 comes out.

Get in line buddy. We all want our cake ans eat it to. There probably won't be any rebate. And also with your comment about bb7, it doesn't make any sense. I have the bold touch. I intend to upgrade to the Nevada. Number of tears running down my eyes? None. I own the phone. I can give it to someoene. I can keep it as a back up. Either way it is much better than waiting two years while using the STYLE or the TOUR. I'm enjoying my phone all the way to replacing it. What are you doing? Still wishing that bb10 was out. Tisk tisk.

Well...it does say it's for emerging market...but where in the Universe will they still manage to find an emerging market is a mystery. The 2MP camera is just impossible to imagine...

That is no more or less true than when buying any piece of hight tech gadgetry. The industry moves fast, you won't have the latest and greatest for long. Updates will still come out though. OS 6 is still being updated now. I chose OS 7 because its the final iteration of BBOS that they have had the most time to develop, I am VERY comfortable with it and all its shortcuts. I will get my feet wet with the playbook over the next two years. Then upgrade to a QNX phone.

Looks like i get to play with os 2.0 on my PB for the rest of 2012. I'm not eligible for a hardware upgrade this year and i would hesitate grabbing a BB10 device right out of the gate.

- does os 7.1 get any upgrades in 2012? ie. is there a 7.2, 7.x, 8.x, 9.x in the works?
- what are the plans for tablet os2? is there a 2.x, a 3.x even on the horizon? remember BBM?


That's a good question... Their one slide said "7.x" would be running along side BB10... Maybe that means there will be versions past 7.1. It makes sense because 10 is a big jump from the current OS and didn't they develop 4.6 and 4.7 after 5 came out?

There has been some talk of BBOS10 being only on premium devices and OS7 continuing for a while on their "budget" devices.

The media sharing features that were mentioned in other slides in the BGR leak will likely result in a 7.2 being released. What other changes it might bring is harder to say.

OS 2.0 is going to be followed by a more rapid release schedule. So expect a 2.1, 2.2, etc every 30-60 days.

More OS7 devices... Really?

Focus RIM, build something that competes with the 4S. I am so sick of seeing them.

Edit: By the time your road map allows the above and your finished making crappy phones, best to target competing with the 5 or if delays happen (normal for Rim), 6 or 7!

The OS7.x devices are mainly for developing countries where people can't afford high end phones. If you look at the above curves one is 3G & the other Edge.

YES! Apple releases a new device every year almost like clockwork. They make people WANT IT.

We have a great device-base of os7 devices. Now look forward and focus 95% of resources on making bb10 DESTROY APPLE!

Otherwise, let's face it...RIM is screwed.

RIM is focused on emerging markets too, not just North America.

The new OS7 Phones are for them.

How about trying to be less arrogant and look beyond your own interests.

Snap, I'm hurt.

How about you read the latest part of Kevin's interview where they are realizing they need to focus more on the QNX team and moving resources over from the old OS to the new.

Spreading yourself with very so many form factors, so many Different operating systems (even for each phone), is hurting their ability to release phones on time.

Emerging markets is their only strength, cheap, email, BBM, I get it, if they don't focus on their profitable high end products they will repeat the past and release old outdated behind the market hardware and features.

Profits keep RIM in business, not subscriber numbers.

your 2nd paragraph really hit it on the noggin, that's why iPhone gets to fulfill customer expectation and sell as much as they do, only one operating system update for all devices, ipod-ipad, etc.

makes you wonder that if with BB10 they actually start to do that and little by little cut off support to older devices (even 7.x)

When BB10 comes out, RIM is not going to drop support for all previous BB OS devices, they would definitely support the software for the next couple years releasing 7.x updates. They have already said previously they would commit to both platforms and eventually phase out the older OS.

This will be unpopular, but I think that is exactly what RIM should do. Drop all support for old, antiquated, and obsolete java-based OS and from this point forward, only go forward with one OS.

By continuing to support so many operating systems, all it does is continue to further fragment and dilute the app ecosystem - we already have developers saying its next to impossible to support all of the different operating systems, different phones with different specs, screen sizes, and so forth.

What is needed is uniformity in order to attract developers and make it easier for them to develop products for Blackberry.

Related to that point, I see way too many different models of phones being released. If one looks at the Android market, you see complaints of fragmentation, different operating systems, screens, power, etc and this is proving to be causing difficulty and frustration amongst users and developers. There is a reason why the Iphone, with arguably the same OS and specs (yes i know there are some changes), has succeeded. Because it doesnt have 60 different screen sizes, 40 versions of an OS, 150 different motherboards, etc.

that's the plan with BBX devices. However I think they SHOULD continue to support the old devices for a couple year. Can you imagine if you just purchased a a new 9900 & then 6 months later they dropped support for it? you would be pissed & wouldn't buy another BB again. Plus corps would also need support, as they will not be jumping to BBX right away........& then there are the countries where RIM is huge due to it's curve line of cheap phones.....

Didn't they do exactly this with OS 6.0? OS 7.0 (aka 6.1) came out less then a year after it and how many updates do you see for 6.0? Let alone that this was also done with 5.0. RIM, needs to support devices longer. Apple allows 3GS owners to upgrade to iOS 5 even though it was released 2-3 years ago. RIM needs to do the same with BB10 devices. They can not become obsolete after 1 year or less. OS 7 devices should not be manufactured anymore past mid year and all future devices should be on BB10 (even emerging markets).

I don't think support in this case means anything more than bugfix releases and maybe a new feature of two for a 7.2. It's important for RIM that they not completely abandon 75 million customers, they want to make sure they upgrade into BB10 and not iOS/Android when the time comes. That doesn't mean making a OS 8.0, but it does mean keeping existing apps up to date.

What about the BB Knight for March on the chart?
It could be the Bold 9930 with some spec upgrades. Any word on that?

Am I the only one confused as to why the timeline states Q3 '12 , Q1 '13 , Q2 '13, Q3 13'

So the fiscal year for RIM of 2013 starts in March of 2012 ?

I am surprised at those dates too. The 2012 devices are not all said in stone yet and this roadmap already has 2013 devices...Could it have been an error on the part of the BGR's team-member that typed this up? Oooops!

Good point ! - This is US's fiscal year, not Canadian. - and I support that the BGR's team cooking up these "exclusive" news based on small rumor.

This is the same guy who wrote Sumsung's move on RIM weeks ago....

Yes, these might be an interesting rumor for us, but honestly I am not buying it until RIM officially announces it.

Someone on CB wrote like : RIM got panicked after Apple taking over huge share, and trying to do similar marketing - I am not sure RIM is trying to copy Apple.

We can be more mature and wait until certain thing comes out.
Yes, leaked knowledge is always tasty, but those candy sweets are for kids...I want something stronger than that...

I, For one, am curious as to what the "Knight" is that is listed under the bold line and also why"Device" (presumably the QNX device) is listed under the Torch line. As a torch 9800 owner, I would be THRILLED if a slider QNX device was released.

Torch also means full touch, and if you look over to the left it says full touch for that row. The only slider is for the High segment, rather than the Iconic.

The Knight is P9981 Porsche Design phone, it's already available in some markets.

Looking at the color legend at the top of the chart, it appears the Torch moves up into the "Iconic" section for Q3 next year. The dark green box labeled "Device" is placed halfway between the lines for Touch and QWERTY.

That makes me think they have something similar to the Torch in the works which will run on the next gen OS.

Gawd, I hope so.

OK...the real question for me is, are the BB 10 devices going to be 4G LTE? An updated Bold Touch with BB 10 and 4G would be, in fact, the bomb.

I'm super curious to know what that Bold Knight device is? Cause it's not a qnx bold, but it's not the 9900 so...what is it? It says BB7.1 but I'm already running 7.1 and there's no point releasing a new bold that won't be running qnx. Weird. Gonna be a fun year. :)

The Question is stay with Dingleberry or move to the consumer 2.0 when it comes out? I'm still working on the Android thing but having problems. DAMM I want skype to work on the playbook.

Don't worry:
1) You can always downgrade back
2) I'm pretty sure I have an exploit that will work on the official 2.0.

Just wanted to point out that the Curve 9220 isn't a touchscreen, but yet that seems to be where it's placed on the chart.. I have to question these slides, especially given that Heins has already said an LTE playbook is in the works and that is nowhere on there.