Research in Motion (RIM), once one of the leading names in the smartphone and mobile device business and now a flagging competitor, announced the upcoming release of two new units in its BlackBerry line – the Bold 9790 and Curve 9380. Both of these devices run on the most recent version of RIM's operating system, BlackBerry 7.

According to MarketWatch, both devices retain design characteristics of previous BlackBerry smartphones while also including new features. The Bold 9790 features a touch screen and a keyboard, while the Curve 9380 is the first in its line to be operated entirely through the use of touch controls.

The news source reports that these releases are believed to be RIM's stopgap measures, intended to tide over BlackBerry customers while the company continues to tweak its long-promised new operating system, called BBX. The new OS' release in early 2012 is expected to be accompanied by a completely new smartphone and related smartphone accessories.

Although initial estimates point to favorable sales for recent BlackBerry devices, RIM's reputation has nonetheless been considerably damaged by recent events, particularly the service outage that affected many users in early October.

CNET reports that RIM is looking to solicit the support of software designers to make new apps for BBX, with the company's head of developer relations, Alec Saunders, going so far as to publicly provide his private email address to interested developers.