updated 08:00 am EDT, Wed July 9, 2008
BBerry Thunder May Be Late
Claims of a summer launch for the BlackBerry Thunder may be thwarted by a still very rough design, says an alleged Research in Motion insider speaking to BGR. Initially pitched as a near-term competitor for the iPhone 3G, the first touchscreen BlackBerry is described as "in no way shape or form" ready for a near-term launch and has glaring bugs that include a flawed on-screen keyboard and overall interface, a touchscreen that ripples on touch, and an overly sensitive tilt sensor.
The claimed source alludes to this rough state being common for mid-development phones and that the BlackBerry Bold was in a similar position four to five months before its scheduled release this month, suggesting that the Thunder may not ship until November or December. Nonetheless, the incomplete form isn't believed to be persuasive to early testers. "Most of the people who have handled it thinks it's a joke," the contact claims.
The report does, however, suggest the finished device may have an edge through haptic (vibration) feedback support: four clickers provide varying degrees of response to pressing screen elements and should help customers who are used to the hardware controls of all other BlackBerries.
RIM is understood to be treating the Thunder as a direct challenger to the iPhone 3G in the home space and is believed to have a much improved media interface, a web browser that uses the full-HTML WebKit engine similar to the iPhone and Nokia's more recent Nseries phones, and an unusual dual-mode radio that lets it connect to 3G data either on CDMA networks (where Verizon will be an exclusive) or GSM (for Vodafone).