In one of my previous posts, I had spoken about how the LG Prada and Samsung smartphones are giving iPhone, a run for its money. But, this looks as a totally new WAR.
The Canadian company behind the BlackBerry smartphone has struck back at Apple’s iPhone by launching a new device with a high-resolution screen, fake leather casing and enhanced access to music and videos. The BlackBerry Bold got an enthusiastic reception from technology experts on its debut at a conference in Florida, sending shares in the manufacturer, Research in Motion, up by 4.7% to an all-time high of $137.10 (£70) in early trading on Wall Street. RIM described its new model, also known as the BlackBerry 9000, as “incredible speed and functionality, all wrapped up in a beautiful and confident design”. The Bold has retained BlackBerry’s one-letter-per-button keyboard, eschewing the iPhone’s touch-screen technology.
RIM’s president, Mike Lazaridis, says business customers preferred a physical keyboard. “People tell us, don’t futz around with your keyboard,” he told PC Magazine in Orlando. “They say, whatever you do, don’t get rid of that keyboard.”
The BlackBerry held a 41% market share for smartphones in the US last year, but iPhone went from zero to hold 28%, according to research firm Canalys. The BlackBerry Bold, which goes on sale this summer, has a 624MHz processor, which can download email attachments more quickly. In an apparent nod to Apple’s success, it has a new synchronizing device for downloading music from iTunes. Jim Suva, an analyst at Citigroup, described the model as “really, really appealing”. He expects RIM, which is based in Ontario, to ship 200,000 to 400,000 of the devices each quarter. In March, Apple set up a $100m “iFund” to support entrepreneurs who are developing applications for the iPhone.
RIM teamed up with Thomson Reuters today to launch a $150m fund to help people building technology based on the BlackBerry platform.