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RIM unveils BBX OS for BlackBerry

Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian telecommunications giant, has used its latest developer conference to unveil the new BBX system for BlackBerry tablets and smartphones.

In his headline presentation Mike Lazaridis, co-chief executive officer, made a short apology for recent network failures, which led to the network going down in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Considerable delays were also experiecned in North America, which left millions of people unable to access emails and gravely disappointed with the telco's perceived lack of adequate customer service.

"The worldwide outages we experienced this week were unfortunate," he asserted before telling the audience "we're focused on making this right".

And as part of its "making this right" plan, BlackBerry users affected by the outage will be offered US$100 in free apps.

So far the list of available apps include SIMS 3, Bejeweled, NOVA, Texas Hold'em Poker 2, Bubble Bash 2, Photo Editor Ultimate – Ice Cold Apps, Pro, Drive Enterprise, Nobex Radio Premium, Shazam Encore and Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant.

However, there were no further comments made on the systems and public relations disaster that left millions of people with no or partial coverage for three days last week (October 10).

Instead, attention was given to the company's new operating system, which is referred to as BBX.

"At DevCon today, we're giving developers the tools they need to build richer applications and we're providing direction on how to best develop their smartphone and tablet apps as the BlackBerry and QNX platforms converge into our next-generation BBX platform," Lazaridis enthused.

RIM has designed its latest innovation with high-consumption mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in mind.

By taking the current BlackBerry operating system and combining it with the same technology used for its PlayBook tablet, the company has significantly improved its media platform.

It is expected that handheld devices equipped with the latest RIM operating system will be made available to the public soon, according to industry experts.

The announcement is also a timely reminder that the company still holds a significant percentage of the total smartphone and tablet market after recent quarterly results showed lower than expected profit margins.

Yet Lazaridis was quick to point out that around the world, BlackBerry has 70 million active users – a figure that is up some 40 per cent on last year's numbers.

But it was left to Alec Sunders, vice-president of developer relations, to build developer confidence in the company.

He cited the Fortune 500 list while saying "13 per cent of our developers have made more than $100,000. Only one per cent of developers for iOS have made more than $1,000" and emphasising the money earning potential of app development.

Posted by Aimee McBride