2012 is only a few hours away and while this past year may not have been the best one for Research In Motion, a lot of big things did happen in 2011. Here we remember the top 10 biggest stories to drop. Not all of these moments were positive for RIM, but nonetheless have had a large impact on the BlackBerry community. Check them out below and let us know if you agree.

10. First look at OS 6.1, later dubbed OS 7

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OS 6.0 was a pretty big deal. Then RIM announced at DevCon Asia they were planning to release an OS 6.1 with a multitude of enhancements. We later learned RIM decided to completely frog leap all of the way to OS 7. Nontheless, a first look of OS 6.1 err OS 7 gave users a glimpse into what that next generation BlackBerry OS would be like.

9. PlayBook supports Dalvik JVM…will run Android?!

Long before the BlackBerry PlayBook released and right as it was in development, we heard from one of our sources that it would run some form of Android. It wasn’t easy to digest, so we passed on reporting the information. As is now history, we later learned RIM utilized the Dalvik JVM to create the Android App Player, which lets you run a slew of Android apps.

8. CDMA roadmap leaked showing Monaco, Montana, Sedona, and Malibu

RIM had their biggest year in terms of product releases in 2011. The BlackBerry 7 lineup was great and tailored to the needs of BlackBerry users worldwide. In the leaked slides of the CDMA lineup we got a closer look at when we could see the release of the Torch 9850, Bold 9930, Curve 9350, and Curve 9370 (Malibu).

7. BBM 6.0 leaked out

BlackBerry Messenger is one of RIM’s most notable product offerings on the BlackBerry platform. Early in the year at Mobile World Congress we got a glimpse of the new features we’d find in the pending BBM 6 update. Not long after, we had BBM 6 leak out to the world. It was a pretty big deal as it brought many new features to BBM.

6. GSM Roadmap leaked showing Dakota, Apollo, and Torch 2

While we saw what devices to expect on CDMA carriers, what mattered most were the devices going to GSM. In the leaked slide, we learned when to expect to see the release of the Bold 9900, Curve 9360, and Torch 2. Oddly enough the Torch 9860 wasn’t mentioned, but of course has since released.

5. 250,000 BlackBerry PlayBooks In First Month

When news broke from RBC analyst Mike Abramsky, it was a pretty big deal for RIM. At the time, it meant the BlackBerry PlayBook wasn’t a flop. The sales were fairly good for a completely new BlackBerry product. RIM was later expected to sell close to 500,000 by the end of the quarter.

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4. PlayBook price drop

When the PlayBook was first released it was priced right alongside the Apple iPad. The 15GB PlayBook had a starting price of $499.99. While the PlayBook sold well when first released, the hotness began to cool. That created a surplus of PlayBook stock for big box retailers. This later lead to RIM bringing down the price of the PlayBook by 50%, and even more at some locations.

3. Android App Player leaked out

As stated earlier, the use of Android products on a BlackBerry was quite intense news. Even more than that? The leak of the Android App Player for the PlayBook by no other than RIM itself. While we were the first to break the big news, it was RIM who mistakenly let the download links frolic in an official release of Desktop Manager. Needless to say, the Android App Player leaking out was huge. And it wasn’t entirely useful as RIM even made a statement that the Android App Player would be improved in its official release.


2. Global BIS outage

As we reported first, the historic BIS outage first started in the EMEA regions (Europ, Middle East, and Asia). After nearly two days of rapid spreading outage, the backlog of data began to ‘fall over’ into North and South America. It was almost as if a tidal wave was sweeping across the world. Users in North America were down for only about a day.

At the end of it, BIS suffered a staggering 3 day outage. This garnered worldwide attention for RIM’s co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to step down due to their poorly managed customer responsiveness. The root cause of the BIS outage was said to be a core switch failure and a fall over failure.

1. First live images of ‘Bold Touch’

Picking the #1 spot was a bit tough. 2011 had many more notable moments than just 10. Nevertheless, most can agree the biggest and most talked about story and BlackBerry 7 device of 2011 was the ‘Bold Touch’. Years ago we saw a prototype dubbed the Magnum. It incorporated the SurePress touchscreen technology (same as Storm series). However, the Magnum project was later scrapped for unknown reasons. Rumors kept circulating it was still around and with the codename Dakota. But in 2011, we confirmed the project was alive and well.

Sure enough, we began seeing rumored specs, mock-up designs, and more on this elusive device. It wasn’t until the first live photos surfaced of this sexy device that it really began catching the attention of everyone. The ‘Bold Touch’ was the first BlackBerry to release with a real carbon fiber battery door and a superb full QWERTY keyboard experience. The build quality of the Bold 9900 and 9930 was something no BlackBerry user had experienced before. It truly was the best BlackBerry of its time.

We’re very excited for the future of RIM and BlackBerry. 2012 should make for an interesting year as we see more PlayBook tablets and the release of the BlackBerry 10 devices. We’ll always keep you in the loop so make sure you keep it locked to N4BB in 2012. Have a very Happy New Year!