RIM co-chief Mike Lazaridis during an analyst talk today provided the first official teasers of BlackBerry OS 6.0. He promised the platform would work better with touchscreen phones without dropping support for trackpad devices. The WebKit-based browser will play a central role and should affect both the web and apps that depend on the web engine to work.
Existing BlackBerries should have the option of upgrading to 6.0, though this may not apply to every model.
The 6.0 release should come in the summer, but Lazaridis didn't say whether this would come on the back of a new smartphone or if it would first be available as software alone.
RIM is facing stiff competition as its sales, while still a record high, have slowed down even with new models. Its entry-level Curve 8500 has been popular to the point of shortages, but touchscreen models like the Storm2 have largely failed to sell in the face of rivals designed more explicitly for touch, including Android and the iPhone.