RIM to Support BlackBerry 7 After BB10’s Launch, New Devices Planned

BB7 is a great platform for emerging markets, RIM says

Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion is gearing up for the launch of a new mobile operating system version, BlackBerry 10, which will be loaded on brand new devices, different from what it already has on shelves, both specs and features-wise.

However, it seems that the company will continue to offer full support for the older devices, specifically for those who are powered by the BlackBerry 7 platform release.

RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins, confirmed this yesterday, during an earnings call, while also suggesting that the company might be planning the launch of new handsets running under the BB7 operating system.

What the company’s head did not say was for how long the owners of BlackBerry 7 devices should expect to receive support for the platform.

“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,” Thorsten Heins reportedly said.

“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,” Thorsten Heins continued.

He also stressed on the fact that BlackBerry 7 can easily prove a great platform for these emerging markets, as users are looking for fast and simple ways to stay connected with their friends and family via messages.

The BlackBerry 10 operating system, along with the first devices to run under it, will be officially launched on January 30, 2013, during a global event. Handsets should land on shelves soon after, RIM said.

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