With recent statements made today in a RIM conference call by co-CEO's, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, how should we feel about the BlackBerry OS roadmap to BlackBerry 10? I have a brief theory on what the route will look like.
Let's take a step back for a second. If you remember, the current OS 7 was in line to be called OS 6.1. There were even leaked OS's with the 6.1 branding. However, in the end the OS 7 was the prevailing label due to "enough differences" as stated by co-CEO Jim Balsillie during a Q&A Investors Call back in April.
Now jump back to today. The next significant OS release is slated to be called OS 7.1, but could it become OS 8? Is there enough differences to warrant the jump? No, but given the time we have left via a numerical sequence from 7 to 10 it makes sense. BlackBerry OS 7.1 could simply be a RIM internal name before it becomes public as OS 8. This would put a OS 8 (7.1) release at early Q1 2012, with OS 9 on schedule for Q2/Q3 leaving OS 10 tracking on time for Q3/Q4.
This jives with a alleged leaked roadmap of devices set to launch in 2012 and a statement made by Lazaridis that the BB 10 launch window will come toward "the latter part of 2012." Either way the order ends up, there are going to be some rapid changes for RIM next year. Let's hope for an early Christmas in 2012.