RIM is set to make one or many BlackBerry announcements today. The invitations have been out for the company’s US press event for some time now and there’s been plenty of speculation about what is going to be launched. Are we looking at a new BlackBerry handset, a BlackBerry OS, a BlackBerry tablet or is it all just smoke and mirrors? Pocket-lint takes a closer look at the turnings of the RIM rumour mill and brings you our educated opinion.
BlackBerry 6 OS
We’re officially well into the third quarter of 2010, which is when RIM has already said that the BlackBerry 6 OS will be launched. The software is set to be a substantial revamp to the BlackBerry UI with a total redesign of all the core applications, and a focus on connections to social networks. We’ve already seen videos of a Webkit browser, an oncreen keyboard and threaded messaging, but the big questions are over which devices it’s coming to and which it’s going to launch with?
BlackBerry Storm 3
The RIM rumours began in 2010 with some typically blurry shots of a slider QWERTY handset believed to be the BlackBerry Storm 3 and it wasn’t long after, that the Canadian company officially came out and said there would be a number BlackBerrys (plural) coming to market in the year. It’d certainly make sense to launch your new operating system on one of your stronger handsets which is more likely to show off the software at its very best. That’s either going to mean the Storm 3 or a refresh of the Bold and we reckon it’s the BlackBerry Storm 3 all the way. We’ll tell you why.
First, it’s clearly going to be the touchscreen slider phone that all the rumours have been about. We’ve seen from the leaked slide shot of the phone’s presentation that it’s going to be on the shelves by September, but the confusing part is what appears to be the same handset being called both the Storm and the Bold. The reasons we suspect that it’s the Storm 3 is because, firstly, RIM is unlikely to mess with the form factor of their most successful, most BlackBerry model which is the Bold and, secondly, that the line that’s never quite been as successful as it should is the Storm - and it’s only the Storms that have ever been touch-enabled. RIM is in too good a market position to make such a wild move with the thing that already works, the Bold, but there’s nothing to lose on the Storm.
Specwise, what we’re looking at is a 5-megapixel camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi and the ability to act as a 3G mobile hotspot. More on that slider and screen if and when it arrives later on.
BlackBerry Bold 9800
As explained above, we don’t think that the BlackBerry Bold 9800 is the touch slider. That said, we could be wrong. The slider is a half way house between the Storm and the Bold in their current incarnations, so anything’s possible; just less likely. Of course, there’s no reason why RIM won’t announce two handsets today, but history tells us that’s a long shot. That said, with the company stating that there would be multiple launches over 2010, we are expecting the arrival of the 9800 some time soon.
BlackBerry Curve 9300
No offence to the Curve range intended, but there’s rarely such a song and dance about the arrival of yet another one of its kind. There seem to be more of them out there than anyone can remember and, while they’re a very decent handset, they don’t quite have the glitz, glam or power that you’d be looking to launch along with a new OS. Doubtless the 9300 is coming some time soon with its expected 3.2-megapixel camera, optical trackpad and chrome outer, but probably not just yet.
The RIM job most people are looking to get is the BlackBerry BlackPad - the Canadian smartphone maker’s version of the iPad. What we know about it so far is that it’ll have the same 9.7-inch size touchscreen as the Apple device, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, front and back facing cameras, and the ability to connect to the Internet by pairing with your 3G BlackBerry phone. Very nice indeed. Sadly, while we know it’ll be running BlackBerry 6 OS, the rumour mill has also strongly suggested that it’ll be arriving in November and not on 3 August.
Tune in from 5pm to find out exactly what it is that Research in Motion will be pulling out of the bag but, in the mean time, what do you most crave in the BlackBerry world and do you think that itch will be scratched at this latest launch?