BlackBerry maker Reseach in Motion is hoping to expand its presence in the consumer smartphone market with the new BlackBerry Storm209550, an updated version of its Storm smartphone that features a 3.25-inch touchscreen display with multi-touch capability, along with Wi-Fi wireless networking and 2 GB of onboard data storage. The Storm2 also introduces a new “SurePress” technology which provides tactile feedback whenever at user presses the phone’s touchscreen, with an eye towards making the onscreen virtual keyboard more accurate and usable.
But while the Storm2 represents RIM’s latest broadside against the Apple iPhone in the consumer market, the device will not be available in the United States, at least initially: instead, Vodafone will be rolling it out in South Africa and seven European countries in time for the end-of-year holiday buying season.
The BlackBerry Storm2 features 3.25-inch 360 by 480 touchscreen display, UMTS/HSPA and quad-based EDGE/GPRS/GSM connectivity, along with Wi-Fi short range wireless networking. The STorm2 boasts a 3.2 megapixel camera, 2 GB of onboard memory and a microSD/SDHD slot for up to 16 GB additional storage, Bluetooth 2.1, an integrated GPS for location-aware applications, and a rechargeable battery that should offer about 6 hours of talk time on 3G networks along with 280 hours of standby time. Of course, the Storm2 will also tie into Vodafone’s music and media services, as well as provide access to the BlackBerry App World, so users can peruse a growing library of BlackBerry apps to extend the functionality of their phones.
Launching the Storm2 in Europe should help RIM compete with the Apple iPhone; Apple has recently begun marketing the iPhone more aggressively in European markets, entering into new non-exclusive deals with additional carriers to expand the iPhone’s customer base.