updated 05:35 pm EDT, Mon May 24, 2010
BlackBerry 9800 video hints focus on iPhone
A video demo of the BlackBerry 9800 (below) has confirmed not only that it should ship with AT&T but that it will use a significantly different touch metaphor than the Storm2: it will drop the at times criticized click-down SurePress screen but will add multi-touch for browsing and photos. Tight integration with YouTube is also shown in the BerryFix footage of what looks to be a final or near-final phone.
The short sample shows many other aspects of BlackBerry OS 6.0 already known to exist, ranging from multiple, themed home screens to the much faster WebKit browser. Much of the OS has been visually redesigned with touch in mind, such as icon-based context-sensitive menus and new interfaces for key apps like the media player.
The touchscreen slider may be a conservative update outside of its form factor with a 5-megapixel camera as its most distinctive upgrade. A faster processor, 802.11n Wi-Fi and other additions may come along but haven't been identified without the advantage of a teardown.
RIM's new phone was last rumored to be shipping in mid-to-late June and would be one of the first BlackBerries to have a true head-to-head launch at the same time as an iPhone on AT&T's network just as RIM's lineup gets similar interface features. The Bold 9000 would have had the distinction in 2008 but was unusually delayed by months. Technical issues are officially at fault, but suspicions existed that AT&T had pushed it back to avoid overshadowing the Bold.