The stakes are high for RIM at DevCon following a long wait for key features on the PlayBook, anticipation of next-generation phones running QNX, and finally a widespread service outage last week. The timing of the problem was poor, coming the same week Apple introduced iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S. The next version of Android, called "Ice Cream Sandwich," is expected to be announced later today.
Though still profitable, RIM has been struggling to keep up with Apple's iPhone and the many Android devices hitting the market. Last month, Nielsen reported that in the previous three months, just 9 percent of those who bought a new phone chose a BlackBerry, compared with 28 percent who bought an iPhone and 56 percent who picked Android. IDC has predicted that RIM's share of smartphones in users' hands worldwide will fall from 16 percent to 14 percent this year.