Spectacular flameouts and products that simply ran out of gas litter the road to the mobile future we're all traveling
The mobile technologies that came to the end of their road this year
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook
7-inch Android tablets
WebOS, the TouchPad, and the Pre and Pixi
Sony Tablet S
See another InfoWorld slideshow: From Android to iOS, where Google inspired Apple
Research in Motion made a lot of noise in August about its BlackBerry 7 smartphones, featuring faster hardware and a revised OS. But the reality is that these ultimately minor upgrades are the end of the road for the BlackBerry platform we've known for more than a decade. RIM is working on a new hardware and software platform, and the current BlackBerry devices (and their apps) won't work in the new BlackBerry 10 OS, which is based on the QNX OS from the PlayBook tablet. (BlackBerry 10 had been named BBX until Dec. 6, when RIM lost a trademark dispute over the name.) We'll see next year if the BlackBerry reboot works to revitalize the fast-falling mobile pioneer. Regardless of how the BBX smartphones do, the BlackBerry smartphones today are already obsolete, as is the era that spawned them.