BlackBerry Prepares To Storm The Smartphone Market

There once was a time when choosing a smartphone was an easy endeavor because only a few models were available. Now, the market is saturated with a massive range of models that differ widely in style and function. Even RIM, which had been the pinnacle of implicity with just one device— albeit, not a smartphone but a smart pager of sorts—now offers plenty of BlackBerry models.

In August 2008, we reported on the new BlackBerry Bold, the first Black- Berry to support tri-band HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) networks. Now, details have surfaced on RIM’s first touchscreen BlackBerry, the Storm. Perhaps most notable about the Storm is that the device resembles an Apple iPhone more than a traditional BlackBerry device.

BlackBerry traditionalists might miss the physical keyboard on the Storm, which opts instead for a lightsensing, 3.2-inch touchscreen with 480x 360 resolution. A 528MHz processor powers the device, which also includes 1GB of built-in memory (with support for another 16GB of memory using microSD cards).

The Storm isn’t quite as businesscentric as other BlackBerry models. The device supports a wide range of programs, including entertainment-based software that can be downloaded from a built-in browser. Also included are GPS (global positioning system) navigation; a 3.2-megapixel camera that allows video recording; an organizer; BlackBerry Maps; a media player; corporate data access; SMS (Short Message Service); and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service). The phone features voice-activated dialing, conference calling, speakerphone, and voicemail attachment playback. Also provided are access to social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace.

Users can sync iTunes music files on their desktops or notebooks with the Storm using the device’s BlackBerry Media Sync, while the included Roxio Media Manager lets users create a personal jukebox. Mobile-streaming support provides access to mobile versions of news, television, and other media sites, such as You- Tube. As expected with any Black-Berry device, the Storm includes extensive email compatibility, with support for BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino, and Novell GroupWise, as well as support for existing enterprise and personal email accounts.

The Storm has an approximate talk time of 5.5 hours and 15 days of standby time, and it features password protection, screen lock, and other security features. Although the price and precise release date were unavailable at press time, the Storm was expected to be available from Verizon Wireless by the end of 2008.

Source of Information : Smart Computing / January 2009

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