Al Sacco from CIO.com posted an interesting pie chart displaying the distribution of BlackBerry Operating Systems in use and, not all that surprisingly, only 20% of current BlackBerry users run OS 5, the latest BlackBerry OS, on their device. What is kind of surprising, however, is that RIM still allows the carriers to exercise ultimate control as to if and when BlackBerry OS updates will be released on carrier branded BlackBerry devices.
OS 5 is significantly better than OS 4, however, it is primarily the carriers that have dragged their heels on officially releasing their branded versions of BlackBerry OS updates that are readily found online as unsupported leaks. The BlackBerryOS is a bit more utilitarian than other mobile operating systems like Android, the iPhone OS, and even Palm’s webOS, thus end users may not be as concerned with updated their device simply because it performs that tasks that they bought it for, however, the carriers need to do a better job of getting OS updates in front of consumers in a more timely fashion than they currently do.
BlackBerry 6, the next version of the BlackBerry OS, is set to debut sometime this summer. With the BlackBerry Storm2 and the BlackBerry Bold 9700 being the only BlackBerry devices currently available that will be upgradable to BlackBerry 6 it will be interesting to see if updates to BlackBerry 6 get to consumers faster than updates t0 legacy devices that have come before them.
I agree about the quantum leap in performance of OS 4 (BB 9000) and OS 5 (BB 9700). No hanging and speedier browsing. I can’t wait for version 6. I wish RIM could work on the official Twitter client (editing tweets and posting longer like in UberTwitter) in order for it to take advantage of imrpovements in OS performance.
The people that really get screwed are the Mac users on one of those networks that hasn’t made 5.0 official yet… Those leaks really need to be able to work on any computer OS until AT&T gets their s#!t together.