By Sudarshana Banerjee

Research In Motion (RIM) unveiled the BlackBerry BBX, its next generation mobile platform at the company’s BlackBerry DevCon Americas 2011 event.

The BBX platform will include BBX-OS, and will support BlackBerry cloud services and development environments for both HTML5 and native developers. BBX will also support applications developed using tools currently available for the BlackBerry PlayBook (Native SDK, Adobe AIR/Flash and WebWorks/HTML5, as well as the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps), on future BBX-based tablets and smartphones.

BBX will include the new BlackBerry Cascades UI Framework for advanced graphics, and bring ‘Super App’ capabilities to including deep integration between apps, always-on Push services, and the BBM Social Platform, among other things.

Nearly five million BlackBerry apps are downloaded daily, said Mike Lazaridis, president and Co-CEO at RIM.  Expect BBX-powered smartphones in the next year or so.

Once upon a time, Palm and Blackberry were lone kings; but these are hard times. Android powered phones and iPhones have become serious contenders as business phones, and then there are those pesky tablets to boot.  To top it all, in an ironic twist of timing, Blackberry just came out of a three-day worldwide service outage. But do not write off Blackberry as a has-been just yet. While a lot of business executives may have started preferring the razzle and dazzle of the newer entrants in the smartphone market, a lot of business users do not. Give them a compelling reason to get back (apps, videos, video-chats, ‘cool’ handsets) and Blackberry can encroach iPhones and Android users among on their own turf. Heck, even Eric Schmidt was seen using a Blackberry, and well after the Android launch. But then, he just recently allowed himself to be persuaded to get a Google+ account, so maybe that does not count.

As far as Palm goes, all that is left of it seems to be Veer, and even HP is yet to believe Veer can do a David against the bigger Goliath brothers.

(Sudarshana Banerjee is consulting editor with techtaffy.com. She can be reached at [email protected])