Another one of RIM’s (RIMM) new BlackBerries seems to be getting closer to launch. CrackBerry.com has posted what it called “the first real photos” of the new BlackBerry “Niagara,” which should be headed to Verizon Wireless (VZ) sometime this year.
Unlike the iffy touchscreen Storm, which Verizon has been selling since last November, this is a classic, keyboard-and-scroll-ball BlackBerry, upgraded with RIM’s latest software and browser. Think of it as a hybrid of the Bold (AT&T) and the new Curve (T-Mobile), designed for CDMA networks like Verizon and Sprint (S). Assuming it has no major problems, corporate customers should love it. (One potential flaw: No wi-fi?)
Will this sway anyone away from buying an Apple (AAPL) iPhone? Probably not. Many buyers will likely be existing BlackBerry subscribers upgrading from the old Curve or other devices. But it’s a phone Verizon definitely needs — so it doesn’t lose any of those high-value BlackBerry subscribers to AT&T or T-Mobile.