updated 03:55 pm EDT, Thu May 15, 2008
WSJ Echoes BBerry Thunder
Evidence for Research in Motion's BlackBerry Thunder mounted today with claims by the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper claims to corroborate sources at BGR and says that RIM is developing a touchscreen phone with equal support for Verizon's CDMA phone network as well as Vodafone's GSM network in Europe. Both carriers will offer the device exclusively, the paper adds.
The report avoids confirming more specific technical details from the earlier leak, which would allegedly include 3G and 4G cellular Internet access for both network types, the complete absence of a hardware QWERTY keyboard, and a lifetime duration for the phone's exclusivity with the two carriers.
Nonetheless, the paper reiterates claims that the Thunder will launch during the summer of this year, setting up a direct conflict between the device and some of its highest-profile rivals. These include a near-certain 3G-capable iPhone as well as the HTC Touch Diamond, all of which are expected to appear primarily on carriers competing with both Verizon and some Vodafone divisions.
Until now, most have expected the BlackBerry Bold to be the iPhone's primary competitor and will also launch during the summer, though it lacks a touchscreen. RIM has publicly said that most of its users prefer a tangible keyboard but has also expressed a willingness to explore different designs.
RIM officially declines comment on the report, referring to a corporate policy that avoids discussing rumors.