updated 04:15 pm EDT, Fri May 15, 2009
BBerry Atlas and WiFi
A leak likely from within Verizon has suggested a major change in policy at the carrier towards Wi-Fi on its smartphones. One new source for BGR says that every Verizon BlackBerry after the BlackBerry Tour will have Wi-Fi, reversing the company's long-held resistance to the extra wireless. The carrier is often believed to have forced the standard out of the Storm and other devices to have customers depend more on paid services through its 3G network.
It's also suggested that a companion to the Tour, nicknamed the Atlas, would ship not long afterwards and would have its own Wi-Fi. No real details exist regarding this phone and whether it would represent just an enhanced Tour or an entirely separate device.
The same source also supports earlier stories of RIM dropping the click-down screen on its BlackBerry Storm sequel, opting instead for a regular capacitive touchscreen like the iPhone. The move may follow complaints about the lack of responsiveness from the existing screen but could be partly compensated by the rumored addition of area-specific haptic feedback, which would emulate a physical button press by vibrating the phone near where the user makes contact.
Completing the leaks are suggestions that the Pearl Flip 8230 clamshell should reach Verizon by the end of May or else in early June. It remains near-identical to the 8220 at T-Mobile but adds 3G through EVDO and replaces Wi-Fi with GPS.