During Research in Motion’s annual shareholder’s meeting yesterday, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said that 7 new BlackBerry devices running its next generation operating system would be out in the coming months.  (For clarity, ‘next generation operating system’ actually means BlackBerry 7 which is still based on RIMs old BlackBerry OS.  The real next generation QNX OS currently found running on the BlackBerry PlayBook won’t be out on the BlackBerry until early 2012.)

RIM’s other CEO, Mike Lazaridis said that the next wave of BlackBerry handsets were delayed due to the companies efforts to get its smartphones to meet market expectations.   From a hardware standpoint, the next BlackBerry Bold will be twice the device its predecessor was, sporting a 1.2 GHz processor, 8 GB of memory with 768 MB of RAM.  Compared to other devices on the market, this hardware isn’t cutting edge  by any stretch of the imagination.  I won’t however, feel like it is 2 or 3 years behind on hardware like every BlackBerry released since the original iPhone shipped has.

I think the big question mark for RIM is the operating system.  What took the BlackBerry to the heights it once achieved is what many feel is holding the platform back right now.  I have no doubt that BlackBerry 7 will be better than BlackBerry 6.  Will, it however, be so much better that it would make a BlackBerry user currently with a BlackBerry 6 device want to upgrade knowing RIM’s real next generation operating system will be out early in 2012?