updated 12:00 pm EDT, Tue July 29, 2008
BBerry Thunder Oct 8 Rumor
The BlackBerry Thunder now has a specific release date and over-the-air music downloads, if a leak is found to be accurate. Research in Motion's first-ever touch BlackBerry is now purportedly due to launch with Verizon on October 8th and will have access to Verizon's version of RealNetworks' Rhapsody service. The feature may supply a technical advantage over the iPhone, which is both prevented from downloading whole songs outside of Wi-Fi and must pay per track rather than getting a flat rate for songs.
The rumor would also have the Thunder sport a 3.2-megapixel camera at the back. In their respective existing designs, the Thunder would have a further edge over the 2-megapixel iPhone camera with support for video recording.
While yet to be directly corroborated, the apparent detail leak corroborates reports of a major launch with Verizon in October for the phone, which would receive a similarly large marketing effort the month before. Along with the touch interface, the Thunder is commonly understood to have 3G access both on Verizon's CDMA-based network (using EVDO) and on GSM (using HSPA), which allows the company's European stakeholder Vodafone to offer the device at the same time while also giving American owners a chance to roam on foreign networks.
The launch is considered essential for RIM, which continues to lead the US smartphone market but will face pressure from iPhones with Exchange data support and third-party apps.