RIM's anti-iPhone campaign begins with the introduction of the BlackBerry Storm mobile smart phone, directly aimed at the consumer market and intended to be a serious challenger to the iPhone. Offered exclusively by Verizon Wireless, the Storm features a tactile touch-screen that RIM hopes will trump both the iPhone and T-Mobile's G1 phone, the first ever developed powered by Google's Android software, as the hottest electronic device of the holiday season.
Let the holiday season smart phone wars begin. Research In Motion introduced
Oct. 8 its BlackBerry Storm-with its new tactile touch-screen-that will be
exclusively available on Verizon Wireless in the United
States in a matter of weeks. Both RIM
are expecting the Storm to seriously challenge Apple's 3G
iPhone as the hottest electronic device under this year's Christmas tree.
With a look similar to Apple's iPhone
, the Storm comes with a 3.2-inch
screen, preloaded with Facebook, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. The device
features built-in GPS, a 3.2-megapixel
camera, video recording capability, a media player and a removable battery.
Additional applications will be available through a BlackBerry app store. The
device is expected to sell for approximately the same price as an iPhone.
The Storm was introduced in London,
where Vodafone, a joint venture partner in Verizon Wireless, said it will exclusively
offer the Storm in Europe, India,
Australia and New
Zealand later this fall.
View the first images of the BlackBerry Storm here.
"The BlackBerry Storm is a revolutionary touch-screen smart phone that
meets both the communications and multimedia needs of customers and solves the
longstanding problem associated with typing on traditional touch-screens,"
Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO of RIM,
said in a statement.
RIM's jab at the iPhone's touch-screen is likely the first shot in the
inevitable Storm-versus-the-iPhone debate as RIM fully joins the race to win
consumer sales after dominating the enterprise market. John Lannan, Verizon's
vice president and chief marketing officer, touted the device as one of the
"coolest smart phones available on the market today."
Joining the fray for the consumer smart phone with Apple and RIM will also
be T-Mobile's G1 device, the first smart phone powered by Google's Android
software, which is set for an Oct. 22 launch date. Presale
demand for the Google phone
prompted T-Mobile to triple its order to HTC,
which is manufacturing the G1.
RIM said the "clickable" touch-screen responds much like a
physical keyboard and also supports single touch and multitouch. The keyboard
and screen slightly depress when touched, and the user feels the screen being
pressed and released with a gentle "click," similar to the feeling of a key on
a physical keyboard or a button on a mouse. The keyboard layout is available in
portrait and a full QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode.
The device also features a built-in accelerometer, which allows the
touch-screen to automatically switch between landscape mode and
portrait mode as the
user rotates the handset.
eWEEK Labs' Jason Brooks blogs about the good and bad of the BlackBerry Storm. Read his thoughts here.