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RIM planning a touchscreen BlackBerry?

by Parm Mann on 28 April 2008, 11:52

Tags: Blackberry, RIM (TSE:RIM)

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'Apple Killer' in the works?

According to The New York Times, BlackBerry manufacturer, RIM, is preparing an assault on Apple's increasingly-popular iPhone.

RIM co-chief executive, Mike Lazaridis, fired a shot at Apple's iPhone device by stating:

"I couldn’t type on it and I still can't type on it, and a lot of my friends can't type on it. It’s hard to type on a piece of glass."

Mr Lazaridis' comments however haven't curbed speculation of a forthcoming touchscreen-fuelled BlackBerry. According to The New York Times, two independent developers writing software for coming RIM devices say that a touch-screen BlackBerry is in the works. Furthermore, RIM engineers are said to be referring to the device as "the A.K." - standing of course for "Apple Killer."

Clearly, the jury, and indeed RIM, are still out on the usefulness of touchscreen on a mobile device. However, with the undoubted consumer attraction toward Apple's iPhone, is a touchscreen BlackBerry inevitable? We think so, and we'd bet on seeing one sooner rather than later.

On the other hand, the BlackBerry's QWERTY keyboards are ultimately their killer feature. Should RIM be dropping the one component that makes the BlackBerry a much-loved device? That's questionable.

HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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Im a windows mobile user (TYTN II) and i love touchscreen. I think its great for quick menu navigation scrolling through pictures etc etc. After briefly using the HTC Artemis which is completely touch screen (ie no keypad at all) i could NEVER go in that direction. Having a small qwerty keypad makes keeping up with e-mails etc so much easier on the move but all these touchscreen reliant phones like the infamous I-Phone and the LG viewerty are just aweful to use…. i mean really aweful. Its awkward and unresponsive which is the last thing you want from a mobile device you pay so much money for. For a full time business user anything like that is totally unacceptable so if they do decide to make a touchscreen phone they better do a damn good job at it or make usre to have a keypad of sorts aswell.
I am keen to have more voice in functions so buttons and keys are not always needed… but touch screen it could make a difference!