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WSJ 'confirms' touchscreen BlackBerry

updated 03:55 pm EDT, Thu May 15, 2008

WSJ Echoes BBerry Thunder

Evidence for Research in Motion's BlackBerry Thunder mounted today with claims by the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper claims to corroborate sources at BGR and says that RIM is developing a touchscreen phone with equal support for Verizon's CDMA phone network as well as Vodafone's GSM network in Europe. Both carriers will offer the device exclusively, the paper adds.

The report avoids confirming more specific technical details from the earlier leak, which would allegedly include 3G and 4G cellular Internet access for both network types, the complete absence of a hardware QWERTY keyboard, and a lifetime duration for the phone's exclusivity with the two carriers.

Nonetheless, the paper reiterates claims that the Thunder will launch during the summer of this year, setting up a direct conflict between the device and some of its highest-profile rivals. These include a near-certain 3G-capable iPhone as well as the HTC Touch Diamond, all of which are expected to appear primarily on carriers competing with both Verizon and some Vodafone divisions.

Until now, most have expected the BlackBerry Bold to be the iPhone's primary competitor and will also launch during the summer, though it lacks a touchscreen. RIM has publicly said that most of its users prefer a tangible keyboard but has also expressed a willingness to explore different designs.

RIM officially declines comment on the report, referring to a corporate policy that avoids discussing rumors.

by MacNN Staff



  1. akulavolk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...when the iPhone came out, most detractors blasted the touch screen input idea...especially the virtual keyboard. Now that the iPhone has done so well, most people probably don't remember the early criticism of the iPhone...people predicting it would fail miserably because of Apple's late entry to the mobile market.The people I most heard predicting the iPhone's demise were Blackberry fans. Maybe they were trying to justify a recent Blackberry purchase when the iPhone looked cool. Or maybe it was just different enough from their miniature-keyed mobile to seem strange. Either way, there were a lot of Blackberry fans dissing the virtual keyboard idea.Funny that the Blackberry will go touchscreen now.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    follow the leader

    They are doing what the iPod wannabe has been doing, unsuccessfully for years: Follow The Leader.

  1. MacnnChester

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Market defining

    This just means that the market will be split into a few fragments:
    1. Thumb-heads, who gotsta text message every 5 minutes or die.
    2. Touchie-Feelies, who like to glide from app to app on glassy goodness and who spend more time navigating the web or watching videos.
    3. Telephonies, who mostly want something cheap, small and with a little camera so they can talk, talk, talk.

    BB had the first group, iPhone has the second, and everyone else splits the third. Both RIM and Apple will try to fill the other two groups as they can afford to without watering down their cores. Simple.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You are all the best.

    Who are you guys? Unreal. Apple came out with a phone a year ago. I can god damn assure you there are hundreds of functions and applications on the iphone that have been copied straight out of the playbooks of nokia, motorola and RIM. Who cares? Companies try new things. They steal ideas. Everyone does it.

    So now you have a touchscreen blackberry coming out. You know nothing about it. You don't know if it has an additional keyboard; yet, you sit there criticizing blackberry users? Thumbheads? The blackberry caught on because of mobile email. Because people have jobs. Jobs that would never support an iphone.

    Go watch your movie on your iphone. I can step out in public without having to watch a movie. What I can't do, is disregard my business because I am out of the office. And anybody with a profession that requires diligent email correspondence will recognize the plethora of advantages the blackberry has, and will have, over the iphone for years to come. Not to mention you all fail to realize the benefits of having a multitude of phones, rather than just 1 model, the "iphone".

    In sum, get a grip. Not just on your iphone and your little brothers c*ck; rather, on reality. The worst part about being a supporter of a company that prides itself on the notion of being different alone, is that when every joe blow on the street has an iphone and a macbook, you'll all feel like a bunch of idiots.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh dear!

    so lucky ol' boy, can you god damn name a couple? thanks, much appreciate it.

    my dear boy, the term thumbheads has been bandied about for some time now.

    the point made is that critics poopah'd the iphone and now they're running to catch up. and it's a gen 1 so your points about the blackberry will have to wait a bit to see if business will "never" support it.

    hey, next time your on that 5 hour flight and you can't make a call so your bb is just a brick in your pocket think about how cool it would be if you could watch a movie on it! wow. what a concept.

    and who's reality should we be gripping? yours? i don't want your reality. god damn, you just ranted and ignored the point. nope, simply will not do. i'll stick to my reality thank you god damn very much.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Ya sure. I'll name a couple. A screen, a power button, candybar design, wi-fi, a camera, a battery, the ability to make phone calls, send SMS messages, send emails, search maps, bluetooth, and every other function. The first mobile phone didnt have all these functions, so when apple came along last year with their first phone, many of the iphone's functions were functions that were both tried and tested by companies like nokia and motorola that have paved their way. Albeit that the iphone has "revolutionary touchscreen." But they are not even close to the first phone to have one. Touchscreens have been used on a variety of devices in the last decade including video cameras, and even kitchen appliances. So the touchscreen technology is nothing new. The iphone has proven there is maybe a greater demand for a touchscreen device on a mobile phone. Much like earlier phones proved there was a consumer demand for the plethora of other features the iphone assumed from its earlier competititors. With that being said, I can hardly fault a profit driven company from paying attention to consumer demands and catering to such. The fact that RIM and the other cell phone companies have many phones, rather than one, means that they can compete for various demographics. Yes, the initial business user may not want a touchscreen blackberry, but some kid that used to have an iphone might. The beauty of this situation for both of us, is that it results in healthy competition, which simply results in better phones for all users.

    I also believe i can safely assume that business will not support an iphone for several reasons. Firstly, it doesn't have the necessary security or administrative features. Yet, that can be changed. What can't be changed is the immature attitude of the majority of its users. Reading the comments on this blog alone is all the evidence I need. Not to claim that I am myself mature, but I'm not your typical blackberry user. Mac users are against any sort of competition, whether innovative or useful. Anything newer, that may be better is countered with useless and trivial banter that isnt grounded in any fact whatsoever. Much like your response. Apple can not cater to the needs of the business world, while still sufficing the needs of the typical mac user.

    And next time I am on a five hour flight, I will finish the novel I'm reading, read the paper, do some work, or plan my upcoming week. There are many more things to do in life than sit in front of a screen.

    Good luck with yours.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Me thinks luckyday is jealous. Hey luck, get with the 21st century and buy yourself an iPhone. You sound like an important executive with all of your business talk so money shouldn't be an issue. If so, just take some cash from mom's purse.

    Blackberry...keeping it old school.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Been there, done that.

    Tried the iphone. Returned it. Can't have a device that lacks a spare battery. Need more battery life.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Anything newer, that may be better is countered with useless and trivial banter that isnt grounded in any fact whatsoever. Much like your response"

    uh, what? my dear dear boy, my response was about, uh, your response, not about competition, facts, or anything else in that oh so tiring monologue of yours. i know you got lost in that little diatribe but don't make such silly errors. no one will take you seriously if you're unable to both read and comprehend.

    so, back to the issues, you say that business will not take to the iphone because the posters here at macnn are immature. i know you thought long and hard on that but i simply must disagree. why, it sounds just a tad far fetched. do you have any statistics that show that business will not try to make money from the ipone because of the posters here? i'd love to see it.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Excellent point

    "And next time I am on a five hour flight, I will finish the novel I'm reading, read the paper, do some work, or plan my upcoming week. There are many more things to do in life than sit in front of a screen."

    yep, clearly anybody that chooses to watch a movie will never ever read a novel, plan their week, read a paper or do some work. yep, in your reality (recall that i really don't want to grip your reality) they are mutually exclusive, should one tire of the paper or finish the novel or complete the weeks schedule or finish work and still have 2 hours of flight left then they simply should not watch a screen because life is more than that.
    brilliant i say! stunning! don't know how that escaped me.

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