Australian carriers Optus, Vodafone and Telstra are now packing BlackBerry 8300 goodness. RIM VP Norm Lo took the occasion to talk a bit about the future of BlackBerrys. First off, he’s dashing any dreams of touchscreen devices or 3G anytime in the near future.
“In terms of input mechanisms, we’re looking at different technologies and we continue to assess them on devices,” he said, adding touchscreen inputs “are interesting but we’ll just have to see how they play out.” … Speed is not necessarily a high priority for users. “It depends on the applications you are using — you don’t really need high speed, you need low latency.”
Lo goes on to push RIM’s growing consumer appeal.
“We are finding that about a third to a half of people visiting our website for information on BlackBerry are clicking on ‘for personal use’ rather than ‘for business.’ And in the last quarter we have seen an increase in the number of people walking into a store and buying a BlackBerry handset purely because they like the look of it, and use it just as a phone. Then what happens is once they discover the other things they can do with the device, they go back to the store and get some sort of data plan.”