updated 06:45 pm EDT, Thu March 18, 2010
BlackBerry Talladega may be ready in April
RIM's next touchscreen BlackBerry, the Talladega slider, could be revealed as soon as April, based on comments from a Korean supplier. Woojeon & Handan is said by local news outlet Joins to be providing parts for a new phone, nicknamed "T," that would be ready next month. It would be a new flagship for RIM in Europe and the US, and it would go head-to-head against the iPhone, the publication said.
While not mentioning the Talladega by name, it correlates with the slider's alternate Mr. T codename. The timing also lines up with RIM's own Wireless Enterprise Symposium, which starts April 27th and in previous years has sometimes been used for new phone introductions.
A large part of RIM's future success may ride on the touchscreen smartphone. The company has regularly tried to pitch the BlackBerry Storm and Storm2 as challengers to the iPhone, but conservative marketing and complaints about the unusual click-down SurePress screen have led to cool sales shortly after release. Either phone was originally sold for $200 with their respective fall launches, but Verizon began cutting prices soon afterwards to fuel demand. The Storm2 already sells on contract for $100 about four months into its existence, while the original eventually sold for as little as $50.
Verizon is rumored to have been aware of the Storm's mild sales and to have timed the release of the Storm2 to overlap with those of the Droid and Droid Eris to ensure the BlackBerry wouldn't overshadow the intended sales leader.
Talladega would address some of the commonly cited problems regarding the Storm by dropping the SurePress action and tucking a real QWERTY keyboard into a vertical slider underneath the body. [via Engadget]