Several photos of what appear to be Research In Motion's operating system 6.0 for its series of BlackBerry smartphones has leaked onto the Web, courtesy of the technology blog Boy Genius Report. The blog post, written by "Boy Genius," also contains information on the OS's inner workers, allegedly supplied by contacts at network operator AT&T. The updated OS's Web browser includes multitouch capability, tab switching and new favorites.
The media player has also been upgraded, offering kinetic scrolling and rubberbanding, a feature that helps create a fluid feel when scrolling or reaching the end of a list of icons. "This makes the experience a bit more fluid when scrolling through lists, Web pages, e-mails and the like," the post reads. "There is also multitouch system-wide, from the Web browser to the photos application, and yes, pinch to zoom is in there."
Further upgrades include the phone's messaging inbox, RSS feeds and a fully customizable home page. The inbox is able to signal from what messaging or social networking service (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) the message is coming from. The OS also drew praise for a cleaner user interface (UI) experience, compared favorably to Apple's rival iPhone. OS 6.0 is widely considered to be released this summer, and the date is likely to be announced at the 2010 WES trade show next week. The show, which takes place in Orlando and lasts three days, is BlackBerry's premier event this year.
The blog also posted photos of the BlackBerry 9670, what appears to be a black clamshell handset. Features the blog listed included a QWERTY keyboard, 5-megapixel camera, WiFi, a 360???480 internal display, huge external display, trackpad, OS 6.0, microUSB port, microSD internal storage slot and Bluetooth. No pricing or release date information was provided.
According to a recent report from digital research firm comScore, RIM led among smartphone platforms with 43 percent market share during the three-month period between October 2009 and January 2010. RIM's market share had risen 1.7 percentage points versus three months earlier, the report noted. Apple's iPhone, meanwhile ranked second with 25.1 percent share (up 0.3 percentage points)
The leaked information and photos come on the heels of an incident involving BlackBerry competitor Apple. After an Apple engineer named Gray Powell accidentally left a disguised version of iPhone version 4.0 in a beer garden, the device eventually fell into the hands of the technology blog Gizmodo, which posted photos, videos and information about the device. Apple has sent a letter to the blog's editorial director requesting the return of the iPhone, fueling further speculation that the handset displayed, which includes a front-facing video chat camera, a larger back-camera with flash, support for Micro-SIM instead of standard SIM and a higher-resolution display, originated in Apple's labs.
"It has come to our attention that Gizmodo is currently in possession of a device that belongs to Apple," Apple's senior vice president and general counsel wrote in a letter later published on Gizmodo. "This letter constitutes a formal request that you return the device to Apple. Please let me know where to pick up the unit."