Research in Motion (RIMM) is developing a touch-screen version of the BlackBerry designed to compete with Apple’s fast-selling iPhone (AAPL), says analyst Carmi Levy at AR Communications. Levi says the new Berry, to be launched in the first half of 2008, will be a complete departure from the BlackBerries of today.
…the new series targets the consumer space served by the Pearl and Curve models. “The 9000 is supposed to be a touch-screen device, very similar in form factor to the iPhone,” Levy says. “Which means that it is not an enterprise-friendly device.”…
The 9000 series will break from the traditional half-screen, half-keyboard look of the BlackBerry. The handsets will also incorporate an upgraded multimedia system, along with the standard push email capabilities… Levy speculates that RIM will introduce the 9000-series in the first quarter of next year…
The touch-screen devices, however, won’t mean the end of the line for the 8000 series, because businesses will still need devices with proper QWERTY keyboards. “There will be incremental updates. They won’t disappear,” Levy says.
Among the updates will be “a Curve with WiFi,” according to Levy. These devices may have other updates like GPS location tracking and higher resolution onboard cameras as well.
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