RIM Might Be Giving In to Touch Screen.

Original Article ( http://fsp.tw/24 )

RIM, the makers of Blackberry might be coming out with OS 6.0 which would be an upgrade most likely for all of the 9xxx series phones like the 9000, 96xx, 95xx, and 9700. There are a number of features that seem to otherwise keep RIM from being stronger in the Smart Phone market. Of course, RIM is still a superb platform, but when people want to make the most of the phone’s size, and capabilities – this is where RIM has lacked.

One of the things that have seem to be famous for RIM was QWERTY keyboards targeting ½ QWERTY (Sure Type) keyboards for consumers. However as consumers focused their desires on models like the 83×0, 9000, and now the 9700 – it would seem as they would be pulling back on ½ QWERTY, at least for a physical keyboard.

The one thing that RIM OS 6.0 would support is multi-touch which now means touch screen. However, I don’t see the 93xx (Storm), and 95xx (Storm 2) supporting this since they have resistive touch screens. This may mean that the Storms were a test bed of making their OS work on touch screen. If so, than 6.0 might bring in a line of touch screen phones that would look more like the Storm 2, and have better capabilities.

This may bring in a couple of new touch screen phones (maybe 9800, and 9900) that would be successors of the current Bold (9000, and 9700), Tour (96×0), and Storms (95×0). In turn, the touch screen would be completely virtual keyboard, or maybe one model with a slide or flip landscape QWERTY.

This might mean when the phone is in portrait mode, it would show the ½ QWERTY that is on the 81xx, and 82xx allowing for number input while offering the QWERTY for landscape.

With multi-touch – they would compete directly with iPhone as not enough Android devices have this feature even though they can support it on hardware standards. The phone would expect to have a revamped interface including better media player, and probably better contact services. While the media player is basic and ugly in comparison to iPhone, people don’t buy Blackberry phones for the media, but for productivity. The media features is more of a secondary thought.

Integrated RSS would mean that you can view results of your favorite Web 2.0 sites without having to always check it. This again saves power, and increases productivity. This would most likely enter the completely redone Email client.

What would I have liked to see? Well, I am sure there is better integration with email. However, it would still be nice to see virtual alias support. This is something I simply don’t see on any phone’s email client. I would also like to know if the new devices that would fully support this new OS would have in features, including cellular network support in the US. It would still seem as if the lines of phones are still a bit fragmented in RIM’s largest customer base.

I am sure that the new line of phones would be focused on touch screen, and probably within 9 months within release of 6.0 – there should be touch screen with capacitive screens which is standard on most touch screen phones. I just hope that they don’t continue with the exclusive Verizon bandwagon – especially since it means creating different lines of phones to accommodate CDMA, and GSM. With LTE realistically still a few years away – there would be no LTE RIM phones for a while.

So, Crackberry addicts – look forward to OS 6, but keep in mind that while there would be a revamped layout, you would still have to rely on trackball, or track pad as your phone may not support all of the touchy feely that OS 6 will support.

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