July 26, 2011 at 1:40 PM ET
Keep checking BlackBerry's official tweets today, because it's teasing with promises of rolling out tonight devices with Research In Motion's newest smartphone OS, BlackBerry 7.
VentureBeat is one of many outlets that caught this tweet last night: "You got it! New #BlackBerry devices are coming w/ our new OS, BlackBerry 7! Check back tmrw 4 deets on #BB7FanNight. ^CH"
This "event" will try to rally BlackBerry's core base in a market that's become a two-horse race between Google and Apple.
BlackBerry's U.S. sales have lagged behind the upstart Android handsets and the perennially popular iPhones with reports that Apple sold 20.3 million iPhones from April to June, while RIM sold 13.2 million BlackBerrys from March to May. In a few years, it may even take a back seat to Microsoft's slow-launching Windows Phone, according to some reports. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
Some followers are also skeptical: "Interested in what RIM is planning to announce for #BB7FanNight. They really need a game-changer here..."
Game-changer is right. RIM is against the ropes, with yesterday's "Cost Optimization Program" announcement of 2,000 job cuts and executive shuffles, and a tablet that has yet to turn the tide for the struggling company.
Still, BlackBerry users are a loyal lot, and eager to see what's next. Like this user: "Anxiously waiting the @BlackBerry announcement 4 today. Hoping its the release date for the Bold 9900 #TeamBlackBerry." Or this one: "Can't wait to see what we have #BB7FanNight we been waiting for long the wait is over @BlackBerry."
Per VentureBeat, expectations point to an updated BlackBerry Torch and/or a new BlackBerry Bold Touch (9900/9930), with swiping and zooming capabilities on the touchscreen, as well as a better browser.