RIM forecasts global Storm

James Middleton

October 8, 2008

2 Min Read
RIM forecasts global Storm

Canadian smartphone maker Research in Motion has announced that that the sun will never set on a Storm before the year is out. The latest meteorologically monikered Blackberry, the Storm, will be available later this year and is seen by some as a direct competitor to Apple’s iPhone.

RIM says the Storm has the world’s first “clickable” touchscreen which responds “much like” a physical keyboard. Presumably this clickable functionality is a sideways swipe at Apple and comes about as response to the criticism levelled at the iPhone’s touchscreen Qwerty UI.

Verizon Wireless customers in the US will be able to get the terminal in the fall, while Vodafone customers in Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand should get the device in the autumn.

As Telecoms.com reported yesterday Verizon was the biggest loser when it came to customers churning over to AT&T to get their hands on an iPhone. So the CDMA carrier will be hoping that the Storm can stem the flow of customers keen to get their hands on Apple’s GSM-only device.

“We are proud to introduce the first touchscreen based Blackberry smartphone together with Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. The Blackberry Storm is a revolutionary touchscreen smartphone that meets both the communications and multimedia needs of customers and solves the longstanding problem associated with typing on traditional touchscreens. Consumers and business customers alike will appreciate this unique combination of a large and vibrant screen with a truly tactile touch interface,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO at RIM in a statement that bordered on the edge of touchscreen obsession.

RIM’s product offerings over the last 18 months have demonstrated that the firm is serious about turning its attention to the consumer sector with a number of more sleek, attractive, feature rich smartphones.

However, Richard Windsor of Nomura bank recently noted: “Further growth in device shipments requires greater diversity in both form factors and operator variants. We do not believe that RIM’s system is architected with this in mind and so R&D is likely to continue to rise as shipments grow.”

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

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