RIM storms back against Apple iPhone

RIM has launched its response to the iPhone with its new BlackBerry device called Storm.

Besides the BlackBerry enterprise push mail system, Storm's unique features include a multi-tap clickable screen with separated navigation from confirmation domains, longer battery life, expandable memory with micro SD format, Bluetooth profiles and full QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode.

"It is a BlackBerry which means associated security and integration," said Ovum analyst Nathan Burley.

Like any other touch-screen devices, the Storm, which is the first BlackBerry touch-screen device, will inevitably be compared to the iPhone. "RIM also claims the device has been in development since before the first iPhone was announced so should therefore not be directly compared," said Burley.

Another impressive device

The Storm adds another impressive device to the Blackberry portfolio and continues RIM's evolution outside its core market into 'prosumers' and consumer segments, rated Burley.

The Storm will target the higher-end of the market and big screen motivated buyers. It is also expected that the Storm will be priced lower than the BlackBerry Bold. In AP the phone will be initially available as a Vodafone exclusive in Australia, New Zealand, and India. Other markets are expected to be announced shortly.

If RIM wants to continue its push into the consumer market, it must consider diversifying its handset line-up further and produce more focused consumer-oriented/multimedia devices, said Burley.

However, RIM must be careful however not to bite off more than it can chew, he warned. "Diversification into a broader focus consumer company brings considerable challenges."

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