Touchscreen BlackBerry details leaked
Details of the BlackBerry Storm have been leaked around the internet, apparently coming from internal documents and one video presentation, showing how RIM plans to take on the iPhone.
The handset, previously rumoured to be called 'Thunder', will apparently be exclusive to Verizon in the USA and features a touch screen with haptic feedback and an interface offering easy access to a more consumer-focused array of applications.
The information comes from a "Talking Points" document, apparently distributed to staff prior to an official launch and leaked, and a video that was supposedly distributed internally but is now available online.
Making the handset exclusive to Verizon is surprising, especially as the Talking Point document talks about being connected in "...over 195 destinations world wide" which would indicate that the handset supports both CDMA and GSM technologies, though it seems that 3G is only supported on CDMA networks (EV-DO).
For a while, the Verizon web site was offering to take punters' email addresses and let them know when the Storm was available. The page swiftly vanished (though not from the Google cache).
The video, A Minute with Mike, is hosted on vztvonline.com, a domain owned by one Tony Marks but registered to the same address as Verizon's office. A YouTube version was around but swiftly removed, offering the possibility that these leaks are all part of a carefully orchestrated publicity campaign.
Either way, the BlackBerry Storm looks entertaining as a handset and should enable RIM to claim it's making a credible reply to Apple's iPhone. ®
Business first (2)
@ David Kelly
Very true that the market is a factor but it must be considered that RIM has a lot of corporate, government and military customers. As well as it's increasing consumer base.
The security and granular IT policy as well as reporting is what makes BlackBerry so popular to such organisations, windows mobile devices and Apple iPhones can't currently come close. For a while yet I think RIM will lead in these sectors due to the policy and security requirements of some businesses.
If you read BB.com you'll soon see they've come a long way from the original remote engineer/sales pager system they developed. Although its their own have a look at this for instance: http://na.blackberry.com/eng/ataglance/security/government.jsp.
I do think there will be some software issues, maybe even hardware judging by the new Bold. Hopefully the obligatory firmware upgrade should iron these out as with most RIM handhelds. Hardware will obviously remain to be seen.
good on them
Everyone else has tried to jump on the touchscreen bandwagon so why not the RIMmers? What gets my goat is all these super duper phones being restricted to single networks. That's a bandwagon that RIM could have happily not jumped on. It's OK if you are already there but change providers to get the latest shiny thing? Each to their own I suppose. I guess the network handed some cash to RIM.
Apple did a great job getting a multitude of people on to AT&T but that was with something that was quite special at the time (love it or no, the iPhone had the x-factor and brand recognition that made people want to switch). How many punters are really going to change carriers for the latest B/Berry I wonder.
I'll reserve judgement on the phone itself until I see one, but for now I'm happy with my Luddite's special, £9.99 Nokia 2610.
Black Helicopter because it may be there but it doesn't really bother me.
Not ready or not competitive
This funky leak lets Crackberry believers think an iPhone killer is in the works when it possibly isn't a killer, and isn't soon. By making it an "accident" they don't have to say anything more.
As pointed out by others, an intuitive interface isn't easy, especially for a company coming from a glorified pager device.
RIM is the worthiest competitor for Apple, but despite the iPhone's problems, it's still a very hard product to come close to.
I have to agree with Thomas here. Watching yesterday's Android demo it was painfully obvious how poor the user experience on an interface with single touch would be if you were used to the joys of multitouch.
RIMM is going to have to do something really spectacular to compete with Apple. I don't see it happening.
@AC: RIMM's total sales may be growing but that's only because the smartphone market is growing as a whole. In terms of market share everything I have read about RIMM recently shows them losing market share to Apple and Nokia.
The vid is locked down now with the text:
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