The coming arrival of BBX has had us thinking that we may have already seen the last of new BlackBerry OS 7 hardware. Sure, there might be some new color variants that show up, we weren’t expecting any significantly new hardware before BBX changes the landscape. The release of the BlackBerry OS 7.1 Beta SDK might suggest otherwise, with the inclusion of a new API call revealing a feature not present in current hardware.
This latest SDK introduces the ability to control a phone’s FM radio tuner. A curious dev asked on RIM’s forums about just what models might have this ability hidden-away. RIM’s Mark Sohm jumped-in with the official answer, writing that “current in market devices do not support the FM tuner. It will be supported in future, yet unannounced device releases.”
That could mean a couple of different things, but all of them change our understanding of RIM’s release strategy over the next few quarters. Will there be one last push for more OS 7 hardware before BBX devices arrive? Will RIM try to keep both platforms alive at once? The company’s market share has been faltering lately, and it can ill-afford too many missteps with the introduction of BBX; let’s hope the introduction of new OS 7 gear, if it’s really on the way, doesn’t pose too big a distraction.