RIM has decided to play with its Bold series to compete in smartphone war, it officially announced the Bold 9900 and Bold 9930 at its world conference in Florida.
While touchscreen technology existed in smartphones before the iPhone, there is little argument that Apple was able to finally introduce a device that any person would not mind poking and swiping.
With it began the ongoing battle for supremacy of the multi-billion dollar cellular industry, which according to estimates accounts for around 500 million device sales each year.
Over the years, Research In Motion (RIM), the Canadian technology firm behind Blackberry, has marketed its devices on the backing of its secure data transfer capabilities. The corporate world has been the primary customer for Blackberry devices, allowing employers to turn their workforce into a 24-hour productive unit, in some way or form.
In the last few years, RIM has begun enticing the younger generation with refined devices to suit the style needs, while possessing all the necessary features like email connectivity and social networking. The biggest battle feature is its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service, allowing the Berry users to communicate with fellow Berry friends anywhere in the world, as long as Berry services are running.
On the sales front, RIM has been finding it hard to compete with the long line of smartphones. With Apple and Android platforms making quick in-roads in the once Symbian and Berry world, the company has seen its market share eroded. Even certain organizations, the core of BlackBerry consumers, have initiated a switch to the iPhone or other devices, as its workforce show greater affinity to newer technology and the touch option.
Earlier forays by the Berry maker to incorporate touch in its devices were met with lukewarm response. The 9500 Storm was more a press-screen, and the 9800 Torch remains a step behind in its touchscreen technology to competitors. Neither managed to penetrate well into the market; for one, BlackBerry is synonymous with the QWERTY key, allowing ease of typing, and neither of the above devices maintained that ease with its touch feature.
However, after the initial reports of a touch and type device that mirrored the Nokia-launched devices, RIM has officially announced two new models of the BOLD series at its world conference in Florida: the 9900 and 9930. A capacitive touchscreen coupled with a full QWERTY keyboard, the handsets will be the first to roll out with RIM’s new OS 7. One of the key features of the new OS is a browser that provides improved browsing and a better user experience. Furthermore, the ability to manage personal and corporate content separately could be used a driving point for RIM to have more individuals accept the Berry as their sole cellular device.
Other important facets of the device include a 1.2 GHz processor, 8 GB of onboard memory, 720p HD video recording, dual-band Wi-Fi®, a built-in compass (magnetometer) and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
As the handset hits the markets in the summer, local users will be hoping that they can have full Berry services restored by the time this arrives in Pakistan. After all, having all that under the hood is of no use if there is no information highway to cruise with it.