Will BlackBerry 6 OS help level the mobile playing field?

ANALYSIS: BlackBerry 6 adds the visual polish to compete with iPhone and Android.

While BlackBerry 6 will come on new handsets first, current users won't be left out. Although RIM hasn't made an official announcement, Yach says "We've always been a big believer in allowing upgrades. We will support devices with the new release, subject to really the physical limitations of memory and processor. The user experience has to be decent - if the old hardware is underpowered, in whatever dimension, then we won't do it."

Some new handsets will have graphics accelerators, but he claims "we designed BlackBerry 6 so it can run with and without" so BlackBerry 6 doesn't demand more expensive handsets and he claims it won't reduce battery life.

RIM is adding new features to BlackBerry 6, like the modern WebKit browser and unified search of the device and the web from the same interface. "The goal for the browser is to get de facto standard rendering and to get better performance for things like pan and zoom and especially faster JavaScript," says Yach.

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