updated 12:10 pm EST, Wed November 21, 2007
BlackBerry to mimic iPhone
The next generation of Research in Motion's BlackBerry phones may more resemble the iPhone than any of its current products, one analyst claims. Expounding on earlier rumors, Carmi Levy of AR Communications argues that future 9000-series phones will detach completely from RIM's business roots, which are represented by the signature SureType keyboard on every current BlackBerry. This allows the phones' users to type much faster than they do on many competing devices. But, says Levi, "The 9000 is supposed to be a touchscreen device, very similar in form factor to the iPhone. Which means that it is not an enterprise-friendly device."
The new phone would follow the direction hinted at by the Pearl and Curve, which have added increasing luxuries such as 3G broadband and higher-resolution cameras. Media playback for the 9000s is expected to be significantly improved, as this is essential for competing with the iPhone, which doubles as an iPod.
Levi speculates that while RIM wanted to have a 9000-series phone out by the end of 2007, one should still ship in the first quarter of next year. The company itself will only confirm that four or five new phones will be out in 2008, and Levi suggests that among these may be updated 8000-series phones such as a Curve with WiFi, or others with GPS tracking and still-sharper camera technology. [via Unstrung]