BlackBerry 6.1 is now BlackBerry 7, will debut at next week [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Senior News Editor
BlackBerry 7: it's the operating system that's supposed to combine the best aspects of BlackBerry 6 and the PlayBook's QNX-based OS and form the one OS that'll power all of RIM's smartphones and tablets. According to the folks at CrackBerry, we'll be seeing BB 7 as soon as BlackBerry World next month, but the version that will debut at the event is different than the one that we've been hearing about for months. The site has heard from "numerous sources" that BlackBerry 6.1, the OS that'll allegedly be powering devices like the Bold Touch and BlackBerry Touch, has been rebranded as BlackBerry 7. Don't expect any QNX goodness to be involved in the new BB 7, though, as the tipsters claim that there won't be any traces of it inside the seventh major iteration of RIM's OS. There's no word on why the change has taken place, but now it sounds like we may have to wait until BlackBerry 8 to see QNX make its way to smartphones.
It seems kind of strange that RIM would decide to jump straight from BB 6 to BB 7 but, as CrackBerry points out, there may be a couple of reasons for the decision. For example, perhaps RIM wanted its shiny new hardware to debut with an OS that sounded newer and more improved. Thankfully we don't have to wait long to find out whether or not this rumor is the real deal, as BlackBerry World kicks off next Tuesday. We'll be bringing you all of the news from the event and our own Aaron Baker will be there live, so if you're a 'Berry addict you'll definitely want to keep it locked to the site next week!
UPDATE: RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie just confirmed that, yes, BlackBerry 6.1 will henceforth be known as BlackBerry 7. Why the change? Balsillie says that it's because "It's such a big update from 6." So there you have it.