RIM's co-CEO Mike Lazaridis
just announced in an analyst call today that the company's next platform -- coined BlackBerry 6 -- will be available "in the next calendar quarter," which we take to mean the third quarter of 2010. We weren't able to see a video preview of the platform that was shown to analysts attending the event, but the demo apparently showed a touchscreen interface; a follow-up question from the audience confirmed that it'll be available for both touch and non-touch devices, though. Interestingly, Lazaridis said that the company's all-new WebKit
-based browser is part and parcel with 6, pointing out that the rendering engine will have implications throughout the platform and the apps that run on it, not just on the browser alone; in other words, we wouldn't expect a release of a WebKit browser from these guys for OS 5.0-based devices. Speaking of OS 5.0, the intention is that every device in RIM's portfolio will eventually run 6, but not everything in the market today will necessarily be upgradeable -- Lazaridis says that they'll "do [their] best," but he's not making any guarantees. More on this as we get it.