Research in Motion is starting to show off its BlackBerry 10 operating system this week, and the company is actively courting developers in hopes of bringing some high quality apps to the new operating system.

But what if you already have a phone that’s running the recently released BlackBerry 7 operating system? Will you be able to upgrade to BlackBerry 10?


BlackBerry 10 keyboard

PhoneScoop reports that BlackBerry 7 hardware won’t be compatible with the new OS. One current device that will be able to run the new operating system is the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. But no phones on the market today will be upgradeable to RIM’s new operating system when it’s released.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to make a clean break with the past.

Handsets running Windows Phone 7, for instance, can’t run apps written for Windows Mobile — Microsoft’s earlier smartphone and PDA operating system. There were also no official software updates allowing any Windows Mobile 6.5 users to upgrade to Windows Phone 7.

This allowed Microsoft to design a dramatically different operating system that looks, feels, and functions quite differently from the software it had been offering for years.

But that’s not always enough. Palm dropped support for PalmOS apps and hardware when it released webOS. But about a year after HP bought Palm, the company killed off the webOS hardware division due to sluggish phone and tablet sales.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...