It’s an interesting time for BlackBerrys as the company has been getting slammed in the media. One analyst even went as far as saying that RIM has lost the consumer market. One of the reasons the company is probably not doing well with the media lately is because RIM is in a transition period. The company is embarking on an entirely new operating system for its devices and it has a lot of potential. In the meantime, RIM is going to release a series of devices that look like decent upgrades to the current product lines, but will probably not garner the attention they should from media. Also, there’s a lot of questions in the air about whether the upcoming QNX OS will be able to run on these devices, or if people will be purchasing hardware that won’t be able to get the next year’s software. Let’s take a look at what this summer has to offer.
The BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900
We checked out the BlackBerry Bold Touch at BBWC and it was pretty cool. The device was still very beta so it wasn’t a final product ready for review, but we did manage to pull together a few impressions. The biggest deal was how snappy the Bold Touch was. If you’re a Torch user, you’ve probably noticed that the device has a little bit of lag. Going between menus has a little bit of delay, but the Bold Touch has no delay. Going between menus was a breeze and will go a long way to a better user experience.
If you’re a developer, you can also pick up the simulator for the Bold Touch 9900.
The BlackBerry Torch is a pretty awesome device and the Torch 2 should be a decent upgrade to the product line. The device is running OS 22.214.171.124 and while it isn’t the upcoming QNX OS that it seems everyone is waiting for, it’s more like OS 6.1. The problem with the Torch 2 is that at first glance, it doesn’t look much different than the Torch 1. At a time when RIM is getting a lot of criticism for not being creative, this device may be coming at a bad time.
The BlackBerry Curve Apollo is another update to the Curve series. The device will probably also run OS 7 and it definitely looks like a sleek phone that longtime Curve users will appreciate. Like the Torch 2, this device is probably going to be a solid update but it’s not really anything new. That’s not such a bad thing either, it’s just a different strategy. Android does really well because of the plethora of devices available in the market, and Apple does really well because of it’s slow upgrades but leaps in features. RIM is just more like the former.
Another device coming this year is the BlackBerry Touch Monaco (Verizon CDMA) and Monza (GSM). The device looks like it’s an upgrade to the Storm product line and features a full touchscreen and three buttons (trackpad, back and home). This device is different than the other devices as it doesn’t look anything like its predecessors and is a new take on a BlackBerry smartphone. The full touchscreen is an interesting form factor for RIM because it doesn’t feature a keyboard and is dependent on the virtual keyboard. If you’re a heavy app user, this may be a better device for you but if you’re typing lots of emails, you may prefer something like the Bold Touch.
So what device would you get out of these?