Waterloo (ON) – Research in Motion (RIM) today unveiled its “clickable” touchscreen smartphone “Storm”. It is yet another iPhone-class cellphone that adapts the iPhone most successful features – in this case even multi-tap – and adds a few distinct and unique highlights. Is this the iPhone for businesses?
There is no doubt that the iPhone has changed the smartphone world and forced cellphone manufacturers to sit back and rethink how they create new devices and features and how they can compete. Nokia recently announced a very compelling entertainment-focused iPhone rival and Blackberry will be launches an equally strong competitor for business use.
The Blackberry Storm builds on previous Blackberry software platform strengths, but repackages the core into a handsome device with a much improved user interface. The Storm comes with a 3.25” (480×360) touchscreen that includes tactile “clickable” feedback and supports single-touch, multi-touch and gestures to highlight, scroll, pan and zoom through content, according to RIM. A double tap will engage the zoom sliding fingers over the screen will offer scroll and pan functionality.
There is also an accelerometer that switches the phone between vertical and horizontal screen layouts; a 3.2 megapixel camera; a media player; a 3.5 mm headset jack and a GPS chip that supports location-based applications and services, as well as geotagging of photos. In the U.S. the BlackBerry Storm 9530 will be available through Verizon Wireless with 3G EV-DO Rev. A/CDMA technology and (2100 MHz) UMTS/HSPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM for global use.
An old weakness of the old Blackberries remains with the Storm as well: There is not much memory (1GB) – more memory capacity has to be purchased extra (up to 16 GB through microSDHD cards). Also, we have not heard too much about the interface, which, however, seems to have improved dramatically, according to the first pictures released. We hope that RIM also worked on the application speed, which has been a clear problem in previous devices – especially in the Blackberry Pearl series.
We have to wait for a judgment on this phone until we can actually take it for a spin, but it appears that Blackberry has come up with a nice phone just in time. Apple was trying to make its way into businesses, but has not made much progress yet. The Storm could be considered the iPhone for businesses, as far as the first pictures indicate. However, it seems to be a much more specialized device that does not provide the same level of entertainment as the iPhone does.
However, the Storm is building a very convincing case for users with a focus on business applications.