By Stephen Schenck | July 10, 2012 3:36 PM
Even with BlackBerry 10 not arriving until early 2013, we’ve been hearing a ton about the platform lately, checking out leaks that revealed new features in addition to a roadmap looking at some of the first BB10 hardware. Today, RIM held a shareholder conference during which it revealed some more interesting details about how BlackBerry 10 will arrive, looking both at the impact it will have on existing BlackBerry 7 gear, as well as what it will mean for BlackBerry Messenger.
BlackBerry 7 is coming up on its one year birthday; it’s no spring chicken any longer, and certainly won’t be by the time 2013 rolls around, but RIM remains committed to sticking with it. That means that even after multiple BlackBerry 10 models become available, RIM plans to continue offering BB7 devices and support. Especially if those new handsets prove to be relatively expensive, having BB7 models hanging around should provide some more affordable options for BlackBerry customers in developing nations.
It’s not clear just how far into the future RIM might support BlackBerry 7, nor if it has plans to keep producing new models in addition to selling those that have already debuted, but it’s looking like BB7 could become the Gingerbread of the BlackBerry world, continuing to prosper and feature on new hardware even after updated software becomes available.
Enough about the old; what about these new changes for BlackBerry Messenger? BBM Connected apps will be getting a boost of support, letting developers build BBM into their own applications, but the really interesting news is that BBM is thinking about finally adding video calls. This is seen by RIM as a way to help drum-up interest in BBM, and get users who don’t currently take advantage of it to give the system a chance. We’re not sure how well that will work, as the sort of user who would be interested in video chat sounds like the type who would already be a text chat enthusiast, but we’re glad to hear the feature could be arriving, all the same.