It’s a question I once struggled with myself. One that I’m sure kept many of you awake with sweat-soaked pyjamas, wondering what would happen when you lost the loving trackwheel on the side of your favourite device with the release of the BlackBerry 8800. After much deliberation, I’ve concluded that I’m pretty excited, and it seems like the lot of you are, too. A piece in the NY Times asks the same question, and the pearl-navigation on the 8800 has some backers.
The small, pearl-like ball, Mr. Lazaridis said, is as efficient as a computer mouse when it comes to navigating through screens that require movement from side-to-side rather than just scrolling up and down, the action needed for e-mail lists.
â€œWeâ€™re all used to having a mouse on our desk,â€ Mr. Lazaridis said. â€œBut not many of us have a touch screen.â€
But it looks like there’s always going to be someone ready to piss on the parade.
Allen Nogee, an analyst at In-Stat, a market research firm, is far less skeptical about the iPhoneâ€™s approach than is Mr. Lazaridis. But he added that the consumer reaction to the Pearl suggested that business users would not miss thumb wheels.
â€œMost people really take to it,â€ he said. â€œThe wheel is problematic when you have to go two different directions.â€