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What's Next for BlackBerry?

There's almost never a dull moment when it comes to smartphones. Every week, it seems like one vendor or another releases a new device or significant update to their operating system or a new set of mobile applications is released.

Research in Motion's BlackBerry line rules the enterprise roost, but it's had a tougher sledding on the consumer side where it faces far stronger competition from Apple's iPhone and a range of new Android-based devices. EnterpriseMobileToday reports on RIM's ambitious plans to capture more smartphone customers with a new, sleeker interface that's a key part of the forthcoming BlackBerry 6 operating system.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion today previewed the upcoming version of its mobile device operating system, showing off new smartphone software that features improved social networking tie-ins and new user interface capabilities.

BlackBerry 6 is due out next quarter, which puts it on track for a release in late summer or early fall. The preview consisted of a two-minute video clip shown at the company's Wireless Enterprise Symposium developer conference in Orlando, Fla. this week.

The video showed tight integration with social networks such as Facebook and a multitouch interface, similar to the iPhone's. The video also demonstrated a user switching quickly between instant messaging, his Facebook status page, and other apps with the flick of a finger, while also using a simple, two finger "pinch-to-zoom" motion to enlarge images. The new OS also features a multi-tab browser based on the same open source Webkit browser engine Apple uses for Safari in the iPhone.

Read the full story at EnterpriseMobilePlanet:
Research In Motion Previews Ambitious BlackBerry OS 6