There’s been something interesting going on at Research In Motion(RIM), the Canadian company behind the Blackberry.

These devices have been the mainstay of the business community for years and are generally viewed a messaging centric devices. Blackberry devices have always had a full QWERTY physical keyboards for a long time and other devices with this form factor(Nokia E71, E72) have been often erroneously referred to as Blackberry like devices by the non gadget savvy consumer.

Blackberry devices have a large following amongst a wide spectrum of consumers. These devices are surprisingly popular amongst the social messaging centric teens(with indulgent parents) and twenty somethings. It could be the combination a tactile keyboard and the unlimited Blackberry messaging service that comes with their plan.

RIM had taken the touchscreen route with the Blackberry Storm 1 and 2. I had found these devices to be rather average in my limited “hands on time” with them. Their signature physical QWERTY phones are still class acts. That said, I am not a fan of the Blackberry OS which feels rather cumbersome and somewhat dated. It is no doubt an unfair comment given my limited experience with the OS. It is, of course a matter of preference and there are many Blackberry users who are happy with the OS.

Apple’s mobile market share is rising fast in North America and this progress threatens RIM’s market share amongst business users.

RIM is now in the throes of launching their new device rumoured as the Blackberry Bold 9800. Whilst the name and nature of the device is speculative at this point in time, what is more concrete is the teaser video of the latest Blackberry OS released by RIM.

The features of the new Blackberry OS 6.0 appears to have a refreshed user interface more suited to a full touchscreen device. As to how this user interface will figure in RIM’s physical QWERTY devices remains to be seen.

RIM is responding to the competition and with this OS update, they may be able to spread their consumer base. Competition is tougher than ever in the smartphone sector and the RIM is certainly rising to meet the challenge posed by an ever evolving mobile marketplace.

Always in motion, the future is.