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Another iPhone "killer" prepares to enter the market from Smartphone stalwart BlackBerry

Every time a Smartphone with a touchscreen and an internet connection comes out, it's hailed as the iPhone killer. Each time an iPhone killer is announced it makes nary a dent in the iPhone's armor of coolness. Right now, the iPhone 3G is at the top of the Smartphone sales charts with two models from BlackBerry bringing up second and third.

RIM, the company behind the BlackBerry, is getting ready to launch a new iPhone dethroning hopeful called the Storm. As things go today, the handset’s details were leaked ahead of its official launch. cobbled together a series of leaked details from around the web and threw the info together.

So far, the Storm is said to have a 3.2-inch touchscreen and an appearance much more like the iPhone than the typical BlackBerry device. Key features include GPS, Wi-Fi, and the handset will run on the Verizon 3G network.

One feature of the Storm that will make many iPhone users jealous is the built-in cut and paste feature. That particular feature (or lack thereof) is a sore spot for many iPhone owners. Typical BlackBerry devices, like the Bold, feature QWERTY keyboards for typing, something the Storm will forgo in favor of an iPhone-like onscreen keyboard.

BlackBerry one-ups the iPhone in the keyboard department by giving the keyboard the ability to work in landscape mode. For some reason, Apple opted not to allow the iPhone keyboard to rotate into landscape mode for better typing of emails and text messages. Camera quality on the iPhone is decent with 2-megapixels of resolution. BlackBerry has gifted the storm with a 3.2-megapixel camera for higher quality shots.

BlackBerry will even offer an App Store-like area to purchase add-on software. Overall, the Storm sounds much more like a Smartphone aimed at the masses than a business specific device that the traditional BlackBerry is viewed as by many.

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So promising
By FITCamaro on 10/7/2008 3:33:15 PM , Rating: 4
Typical BlackBerry devices, like the Bold, feature QWERTY keyboards for typing, something the Storm will forgo in favor of an iPhone-like onscreen keyboard.

Damn. Sounded great until then. I want an actual keyboard. Not one on the screen that is just gonna make my screen get covered in fingerprints and oil.

RE: So promising
By Homerboy on 10/7/2008 3:43:13 PM , Rating: 4
Exactly. Its just stupid to remove the actual keyboard. I simply couldn't imagine typing emails (work related) on a non-tactile keyboard. I love my blackberry and would love fro something new and great from them, but no keyboard = no sale.

RE: So promising
By FITCamaro on 10/7/2008 4:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I have a LG enV and love the keyboard on it. I can type almost as fast as on a keyboard for a computer. It needs to have a slide out keyboard. Or one on the inside like the Voyager/enV.

RE: So promising
By silversound on 10/8/2008 12:35:07 PM , Rating: 2
this storm really look cheap and so plastic

RE: So promising
By audiomaniaca on 10/9/2008 1:20:16 AM , Rating: 2
That's true. It looks like another "iphone killer".

RE: So promising
By UNCjigga on 10/7/2008 4:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
It has a tactile screen--not stupid buzzing "haptics", but an actual click-screen that feels like a physical keypad. It is light years beyond the iPhone in actual usability for typing.

RE: So promising
By winterspan on 10/7/2008 4:51:38 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, I used to feel the same way about "virtual keyboard" nonsense until I tried an iPhone. After about 2-3 days, It was more comfortable and faster to type on than the Treo "chiclet" keyboard I had previous. I certainly can't vouch for any other device, but you should definitely give it a try. I think you'd be surprised how functional it can be when you are using a capacitive touchscreen that is so responsive.

RE: So promising
By MScrip on 10/7/2008 4:15:21 PM , Rating: 3
Where have ya'll been? The Storm has some kind of click keyboard, so the screen presses in when you press it. Reviews haven't come out, but it's supposed to be better than just pressing on a flat surface.

And the best part about Blackberry, they have many models to choose from: the 8800 World phone, the Curve, the old Pearl skinny candybar, the new Pearl flip-phone, all with keyboards... and a touch screen phone.

Take that Apple.

RE: So promising
By FITCamaro on 10/7/2008 5:30:21 PM , Rating: 1
I don't see anywhere for a click keyboard to be separate from the screen. Just because the screen presses in a little doesn't mean it still not going to get smudged.

RE: So promising
By MScrip on 10/7/2008 5:53:51 PM , Rating: 4
Then buy a Bold. Or whichever Blackberry comes after the Bold with a keyboard. The Storm is just an additional model of the Blackberry. I'm sure Blackberry will keep making QWERTY phones for many years.

Apple makes one phone, a touchscreen phone, and it sells well. Blackberry is just now getting into the touchscreen game. But they have many models to choose from.

RE: So promising
By JWalk on 10/8/2008 11:57:31 AM , Rating: 4
Exactly. Thank you.

Blackberry makes like half a dozen phones with QWERTY keyboards. Complaining that this model doesn't have one is like complaining that a Corvette doesn't have a truck bed or towing capacity. If you want or need those things, buy a pickup truck. And if you want or need a QWERTY keyboard on your Blackberry, then buy one of the many they sell.

Every product isn't going to be perfect for every person.

RE: So promising
By therealnickdanger on 10/8/2008 3:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'll just say that I have had my HTC Touch for about 10 months now (kinda lost track of time) and my touchscreen is fingerprint/smudge free. I'm still using the film screen-protector that came with the phone and it's holding up very well. I never use the included stylus, I text and e-mail all the time, it gets tons of use. Naturally, just like my tactile-keyed phones of the past, I don't touch it with sticky or dirty hands.

The only problem I ever run into is "ear sweat"... it gets hot sometimes. Perhaps I need some Cinco Phone Gel.

No Wi-Fi
By ZipSpeed on 10/7/2008 5:45:39 PM , Rating: 2

From what I've been reading, the Storm won't have Wi-Fi capability. IMO, the lack of this feature is deal breaker because with so many Wi-Fi hotspots, it's nice to jump on the Internet without having to eat into your data usage.

RE: No Wi-Fi
By Jacerie on 10/7/2008 8:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
This is really a non issue with every Blackberry I've had. When you get the BB specific data plan it includes unlimited data usage.
My real concern, is will it tether?

RE: No Wi-Fi
By pauldovi on 10/7/2008 11:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
The leaked PowerPoint slide shows tethering as a feature. In fact they show an accessory for the device that is a battery powered wireless G router which is tethered to the Blackberry and gives wifi to your laptop.

RE: No Wi-Fi
By ZipSpeed on 10/8/2008 1:20:18 AM , Rating: 2
I would agree with you 100% if I were living in the US. Here in Canada, the carriers here nickel and dime their customers when it comes to data plans. For example, on Rogers (the network equivalent of AT&T in Canada), they gouge their customers $30 for 1 GB and $60 for 3 GB. There's a reason why Canadian carriers are among the most profitable in the world.

RE: No Wi-Fi
By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 2:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
Both Bell and Telus have unlimited plans for $30 a month so they can compete with Rogers and the iphone. Thats for any Windows mobile phone or blackberry.

RE: No Wi-Fi
By ZipSpeed on 10/8/2008 4:42:45 PM , Rating: 2
Good to know! I'm ready to retire this old Moto Razr and I thought of jumping to the iPhone but didn't feel like paying the ridiculous money Rogers is asking for such limited data options. Perhaps this Storm might be what the doctor ordered. If data is unlimited, I guess the lack of WiFi can be overlooked.

RE: No Wi-Fi
By gramboh on 10/8/2008 7:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
$30/mo for 6GB on my iPhone 3G here (Rogers of course). Pretty sure that deal has been extended? 6GB is functionally unlimited for an iPhone 3G since you can't tether to a laptop.

So far I haven't gone over 300mb/month as I'm at my laptop most of the day at work.

RE: No Wi-Fi
By ZipSpeed on 10/8/2008 7:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, the 6 GB deal is dead. There is a $75 voice and data bundle that gives 2 GB data ($50 for 1 GB). Reason why Rogers is getting away with the exorbitant fees is the popularity of the iPhone.

RE: No Wi-Fi
By bldckstark on 10/8/2008 12:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
Data usage on verizon Blackberry's is unlimited with the mandatory $29.95 per Blackberry account fee. Tethering is not included in this cost though. If you want to tehter, you have to pay more.

RE: No Wi-Fi
By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 2:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well unless you have more than one source, I am going to cry foul.. The reports I have seen show that the phone has full GPS, and does not have a QWERTY keyboard at all, which your link says it does. Unless the pictures released were hiding some magical keyboard I cant see.

RE: No Wi-Fi
By ZipSpeed on 10/8/2008 4:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
Here ya go!

My apologies for using the slides as my source as at the time, many of the reviews were still under NDAs which seem to have expired today.

By kattanna on 10/7/2008 3:12:29 PM , Rating: 5

By dflynchimp on 10/7/2008 3:17:57 PM , Rating: 3
You can't really miss what you never had or will never be able to have...

By amanojaku on 10/7/2008 3:33:35 PM , Rating: 3
I hate to disagree with you, but kattanna is right. The iPhone's biggest feature is it's ability to inflate the heads of its owners. If they had any sense they wouldn't be so iSmug. Hell, they would never have bought the damn thing.

By dflynchimp on 10/7/2008 7:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
You misunderstand. I'm saying that the iSmug is a feature that is Apple-exclusive. Other companies can't get in on it because to do that they'd literally would have to become Apple.

Oops, I ran over my old blackberry...
By austinag on 10/7/2008 4:36:56 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are all forgeting one detail: try telling your company to buy you an iphone and you will ifail. A blackberry on the other hand is darn near standard issue.

By Master Kenobi on 10/7/2008 4:58:56 PM , Rating: 1

RE: Oops, I ran over my old blackberry...
By psonice on 10/8/2008 4:04:54 AM , Rating: 2
Don't be so sure on that. I've not heard of any serious deployments at the biggest companies, but it seems to be getting at least some traction in the small/medium ones.

Where I work, we're seriously considering a move to iphones. We currently run blackberry enterprise server, and it seems changing to iphones would cut our costs quite a lot, and also cut the amount of support work. The 'missing features' don't seem to bother people - the reality is that most people use their smartphone for calendar, address book, and looking up information, not editing documents etc. Dunno if the switch to iphone will go ahead or not.

At my wife's company, which is a fair bit smaller, the directors have all got iphones now, and they're considering whether to roll them out to all of their staff. They use normal phones now, as blackberry is too expensive. The interesting part there is that the iphone was being pushed by the company they pay to run their IT systems, so presumably that company is pushing their other clients towards iphone too.

Anyway, to take a pretty simple view, for the smaller companies at least: blackberry means buying BES, which means extra expense and extra support. The iphone will also get the job done, but it'll plug into existing systems easily so it's cheap. I'd guess the end users will prefer it too - we get a lot of people bringing blackberries in because they've broken the software somehow, or can't figure out how to use it (and having used one, I can see why!)

By Souka on 10/10/2008 6:55:31 PM , Rating: 1
Enjoy charging your battery during the day.... unlike the Blackberry which is superior...

also... Blackberry uses push tech... often my Blackberry alerts me to new email before my outlook client tells me.

with the iPhone you'll kill your battery very quick if you try to do this....not as quick, but quick regardless, if you enabled sync every 15min or so....

RE: Oops, I ran over my old blackberry...
By robinthakur on 10/8/2008 5:26:20 AM , Rating: 2
Whilst that was the case in the past, we're at a point now with our company (a bank) that some offices are issuing iPhones on a trial with Apple's management software, and executives over in London regularly demand them along with other Apple products. Apple have certainly come a long way in this regard as I can't imagine the first iphone being so rapidly adopted by business.

I think this is the case because more and more people have iPhones now than they did, and you only need a senior person in management to see an iPhone in action and be impressed, for change to be rapidly affected. This reduces the iPhone's 'coolnessin exclusivity-cache' somewhat though. There were at least 5 other people I counted in the carriage on my daily commute this morning who had iPhones, and whilst I was the only one with a white variant, it considerably reduced my level of smugness for a few seconds. :) Strangers still have that unnerving habit of starting talking to you to ask "what the iphone's like" though. I guess Apple does its marketing job too well sometimes.

Generally you are right though. If I request a Bold I'll get it within 10 mins, if I request an iPhone it will take longer.

By drakore on 10/8/2008 9:44:21 AM , Rating: 2
Very true, at the end of the day the Blackberry will still be kind among big business. I also work at a bank, we considered trying out the iPhone, but at the end of the day security was a concerning issue.

By Souka on 10/7/2008 2:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
And since it's a Blackberry 4.5/4.6 OS it'll be able to shoot video.

And I'll bet ya $$ battery time will be superior to iPhone...and have real GPS...

RE: neato...
By Fusible on 10/7/2008 3:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
I've been waiting for this darn phone for a long time. I hate AT&T wireless, I've had a phone at some time from just about every cell company and Verizon's the best. I won't go anywhere else but them. So Storm hurry the $&#% up.

RE: neato...
By solah13 on 10/7/2008 4:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
IIRC the Storm will be running 4.7, which is essentially 4.6 + the BlackBerry Apps store.

RE: neato...
By Souka on 10/10/2008 6:50:22 PM , Rating: 2
bunch of my people here with AT&T 8310 Curve's are waiting for the 4.5 OS to come out (offically)... it'll allow video capture...woo and hoo...

I'm plugging away with my old T-Mobile 8700g...

A few key features that the iPhone lacks
By Delegator on 10/7/2008 11:44:43 PM , Rating: 3
The best differentiators for me are:
- removable battery so I can carry a spare
- cut/paste
- a flash for the camera

The biggest downside is that of course the Blackberry Media Manager isn't as slick as iTunes. But it's passable, and for me the device is a phone/PIM first, media device second. So I'm pretty much the target market.

By MScrip on 10/8/2008 1:09:33 AM , Rating: 3
You can sync iTunes playlists to your Blackberry.

This, I might buy.
By middlehead on 10/7/2008 4:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
I've never been able to talk myself into buying a Blackberry, but this I could get. Depending on price, naturally.

M.S. to takeover RIM ???
By crystal clear on 10/11/2008 6:13:08 AM , Rating: 2
TORONTO (Reuters) - The recent plunge in the market value of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion could leave the company vulnerable to a takeover from a well-capitalized buyer such as Microsoft Corp.

"RIM is a massive strategic fit" for Microsoft, said Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek. "I'm fairly certain they have a standing offer to buy them at $50 (a share)."

Won't succeed against the iPhone
By mpjesse on 10/7/08, Rating: -1
RE: Won't succeed against the iPhone
By amanojaku on 10/7/2008 3:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, it won't make a dent in iPhone sales, because it's too little too late. Not that I think the iPhone is worth buying, even at half the price. It's with AT&T, and I hate them. At least they dropped the price from $500 to $200-$300.

By solah13 on 10/7/2008 4:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
And at the same time increased the monthly data plan by $10 over the two year contract. Better off the get a first gen unlocked to run on T-mobile/t-zones. Well, unless T-mobile decides to make t-zones a no-no on the iPhone.

By ChiefsLead on 10/7/2008 3:40:16 PM , Rating: 5
Boy that would be cool to upgrade your camera from 2.0 to 3.2 megapixals with a firmware update. How did the engineers ever figure that out? LOL

RE: Won't succeed against the iPhone
By theapparition on 10/7/2008 3:46:03 PM , Rating: 5
That's sooooo cool. I never knew you could double a camera's resolution with a firmware update.

I'm going home to try and update all my cameras, even the film ones.


RE: Won't succeed against the iPhone
By ipay on 10/7/08, Rating: -1
RE: Won't succeed against the iPhone
By xti on 10/7/2008 6:17:32 PM , Rating: 3
calling him a nerd....then pointing to stock? hi kettle...your black.

RE: Won't succeed against the iPhone
By raphd on 10/7/08, Rating: -1
By murphyslabrat on 10/8/2008 12:53:41 AM , Rating: 2
im gonna get flamed for this

Wow, if only the biblical prophets had your clairvoyance...

By drakore on 10/8/2008 9:38:33 AM , Rating: 1
Their stock is low now, but it will rebound to what it was an continue increasing. RIM is a well oiled machine

RE: Won't succeed against the iPhone
By omnicronx on 10/7/2008 4:31:39 PM , Rating: 3
Blackberry already has such a mass user base in the corporate world, the one place the iphone has yet to conquer. If this product is actually what they are making it out to be, then the iphone may never get any traction.

RE: Won't succeed against the iPhone
By MScrip on 10/7/2008 5:01:00 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly. AT&T has 73 million subscribers... but Verizon ain't too far behind with 69 million. I'm sure the Storm will do well on Verizon.

It's not iPhone vs Storm... it's iPhone vs Blackberry. There's 19 million Blackberries out there. Both companies will continue to exist for many years.

RE: Won't succeed against the iPhone
By MScrip on 10/7/2008 5:01:10 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly. AT&T has 73 million subscribers... but Verizon ain't too far behind with 69 million. I'm sure the Storm will do well on Verizon.

It's not iPhone vs Storm... it's iPhone vs Blackberry. There's 19 million Blackberries out there. Both companies will continue to exist for many years.

RE: Won't succeed against the iPhone
By Aloonatic on 10/8/2008 4:35:01 AM , Rating: 2
Do iPhone peeps really think that Apple would do these things for free with a firmware update?

Sure, they could.

But then a lot of phones/devices could be improved with a "simple" update too.

(Not sure about the day of programming though, unless you are willing to be a tester too?)

More likely that the all new world beating no one has ever thought of it before iPhone 3.5G will have more of these features and maybe even a camera that is of some use.

By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 10:25:37 AM , Rating: 2
More likely that the all new world beating no one has ever thought of it before iPhone 3.5G will have more of these features and maybe even a camera that is of some use.
Bingo.. Ipod users have already proved that they are willing to buy the same product again as long as it has more advanced features, or has a snappier look. Some people have already gone for the 3G when they already have the original iphone which many like better.

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/8/2008 8:13:37 AM , Rating: 3
Cool, I am going to add a spring loaded touch screen to my iPhone with a firmware upgrade, too.

By ice456789 on 10/8/2008 11:17:53 AM , Rating: 2
Every single feature this new blackberry has can be added to an iPhone firmware update at any time.

And Apple being Apple, you'll only have to pay $5.00 to get it.

Per feature.

Even if it did only require a day's work of programming, that's a day's worth of programming that won't get started unless it can become a revenue stream.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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