Speaking at a BlackBerry World press conference, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has admitted that the company has no plans to offer BlackBerry 10 updates for existing devices that run the BlackBerry 7 OS. The company has yet to announce a consumer device that will be powered by the new OS, though developers will be able to test apps on the Dev Alpha handset.
Although BlackBerry 10 is viewed as an upgrade from the existing OS, the company appears to be planning to release new BlackBerry 7 handsets even after the new OS arrives. The only device that has been confirmed to receive a BB10 update is the PlayBook tablet.
The revamped OS brings a new approach to menu organization and multitasking, enabling users to quickly swipe between communication and productivity panes. The company has also developed a virtual keyboard that mimics the characteristic BlackBerry layout, complete with virtual frets, and brings shortcut gestures for frequently typed words.
BlackBerry 10 and related devices are expected to arrive sometime before the end of the year.