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Device operating systems

OS Watch: RIM Rebounds in Emerging Markets

It's been a trying year for BlackBerry as it struggles to revive its fortunes, but it's not all bad news for the struggling BlackBerry maker. (See RIM Rumblings.)

RIM will remain in the top echelon of smartphone vendors this year, following Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), buoyed by its continued strength in emerging smartphone markets, according to Pyramid Research .

The BlackBerry line is especially popular in Indonesia and Thailand, two markets with big growth potential. "The fact that RIM has not had a new handset model launch in nearly a year will not affect smartphone buyers’ decisions in developing APAC countries to the same extent as with North American consumers," Pyramid analyst Emily Smith writes in a research note.

Okay, not exactly something to brag about, but it's good for RIM that its story extends further than just smartphone-crazed North America.

Mango's not sweet on tablets: Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) says its latest operating system update, dubbed Mango, is not cut out for tablets. Andy Lees, president of the Windows Phone division, told attendees at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference that tablets were more akin to PCs and, therefore, not suited to the Mango OS (or Windows Phone 7, to give it its official title). He did, however, promise a unified experience between smartphones, tablets and PCs. (See Microsoft Tangos With Mango, Microsoft's Other 497 Updates and OS Watch: Developers Take a Bite Out of Mango.)

Android winning world race: Android is now the leading OS in six out of eight key countries identified by Kantar Worldpanel comTech. Spain was the last market it had to wrest from Symbian Ltd. Interestingly, Android's growth in the U.K. is being driven by feature-phone owners, not smartphone switchers. (See Google Says Android's on a Tear .)

Amazon plots a tablet: Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) wants in on the tablet trend and is reportedly planning to launch its own version by October. The Android-based tablet will fill the gap in Amazon's hardware portfolio and be designed to house its digital content, including books, music and movies, reports The Wall Street Journal.

HP looks ahead: HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ)'s newly assigned Head of webOS Stephen DeWitt has been given the job of launching the company's webOS on Sunday, but the duties don't stop there. A leaked roadmap from the company suggests the HSPA+ TouchPad will be here in August and the Pre 3 smartphone later this Fall. (See Exec Changes Shake Up Key Vendors.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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