The annual BlackBerry World conference is set to kick off tomorrow in Orlando, Florida. The three-day event is used to showcase the latest and greatest from RIM, but if you were expecting to see any new hardware this year, prepare to be disappointed.
RIM is expected to unveil their long-awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system, but it seems that the party ends there. A company spokesperson told CNET that they won’t be unveiling any BlackBerry 10 hardware at the event, arguably at a time when the company needs all the help it can get.
RIM plans to launch a beta version of the BlackBerry 10 toolkit at the show and attendees will receive a Dev Alpha device, which isn’t a BlackBerry 10 phone nor will it be running the new software. Conference-goers are also expected to see demos of new apps for BlackBerry 10.
BlackBerry 10 is seen by many as a last-ditch effort to steer RIM back in the right direction. The OS is built on QNX, the same platform used on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Much like Android, iOS and the soon-to-be-released Windows 8, RIM hopes that BlackBerry 10 will be used on other devices outside of smartphones.
RIM still anticipates the arrival of new BlackBerry 10 hardware in the second half of this year, perhaps in August. Those handsets would then become available around October, just in time for the lucrative holiday buying season. QWERTY keyboard-equipped BlackBerry 10 devices are expected in the first quarter of 2013.