updated 03:00 pm EDT, Mon May 4, 2009
RIM on More Touch BBerries
Confirming his company's technology path, Research in Motion co-chief Jim Balsillie on Monday told those at the company's Capital Markets Day keynote that more touchscreen phones in the vein of the BlackBerry Storm are in development. While not willing to enter into specifics, the executive says there are "next-generation devices" in the pipeline and that Storm-like devices would be needed to push deeper into the mainstream, where touchscreens are more popular than in the keyboard-centric work market.
The home is a "very large and untapped" market, Balsillie said, also noting that over half of BlackBerry users now own one for personal reasons.
Among the updated models are a possible Storm 9520 for Rogers and other carriers that need broader HSPA 3G support as well as a Palm-like hybrid model that has both a touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard.
Although plagued by early bugs and concerns over an at times awkward click-down screen, the Storm has been instrumental to helping RIM get an at least temporary edge over Apple. The Storm sat directly behind iPhones in sales for the most recent quarter and gave RIM three out of the five top-selling phones on the market. Neither Verizon nor RIM has provided direct sales numbers, however.