Research in Motion, the venerable Blackberry maker is folding under pressure from rivals, notably Apple, but its betting that its next 'superphone' will bring it back to the top.

Speaking to the financial community about the company's first quarter, CEO Jim Balsillie explained that RIM's Playbook was significant not just for the grow potential, but that it's the first product that runs the new QNX operating system.

This software will also become the core of future BlackBerry super phones, he said.

The new operating system promises to bring a powerful, rethought and redesigned  backend to RIM's phone line-up in a bid to save the company.

But rivals are not standing still, notably with Apple set to launch its iPhone 5 later this year.

Since the iPhone's debut in 2007, the smartphone market switched from corporate to consumer, and RIM has struggled to keep pace.

The iPhone 5 will again pressure RIM in a showdown that may be the final nail in the coffin for the Blackberry maker.

RIM is hoping otherwise, packing the phone with new features.

The company's other CEO, Mike Lazaridis, said that QNX would come to the top of the line BlackBerry phones once they have multi-core processors available

I can tell you that it's going to come in to the higher tier value propositions first. It'll probably come into an all-touch first, more than likely, Lazaridis said

Balsillie noted the the company will have numerous devices with near-field communications, or NFC, technology embedded in them, including some superphones.

But if RIM were to match Apple on hardware, and even user-experience, the Apple ecosystem is one factor that observers believe would be hard to beat.

We are incrementally more concerned that it will not be enough stabilize U.S. share and continue international momentum, Gleacher's Stephen Patel told investors.

Indeed, last Monday Apple rolled out iOS 5, the update to its own mobile operating system which incorporates messaging that only RIM use to have.

More importantly, the iCloud which all future Apple products will connect to will make it tougher to close the user experience gap, Patel said.

Apple's iCloud will allow users to store their personal data onto Apple servers for access anywhere.