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Verizon Unveils Touchscreen 3G BlackBerry

10/08/2008 03:55:00 PM Eastern

Basking Ridge, N.J. – Research In Motion’s first touchscreen BlackBerry, which will be available later this fall through Verizon Wireless, will be Verizon’s first phone to operate in 3G mode in the U.S. and globally.

The Storm might also become the U.S. industry’s first BlackBerry to operate globally in 3G mode if it goes on sale before the delay-plagued BlackBerry Bold, which operates globally in 3G mode but doesn’t come with touchscreen. Bold sales are planned through AT&T.

The planned Storm lacks hard buttons for dialing and typing, but RIM is promoting the device’s "clickable"

Blackberry Storm

The BlackBerry Storm displays a tactile-feedback QWERY keyboard when rotated into landscape mode.

tactile-feedback touchscreen, said to be a world’s first, as solving “the longstanding problem associated with typing on traditional touchscreens,” said Mike Lazaridis, RIM president and co-CEO.

Because of the device’s built-in accelerometer, users can type on a virtual QWERTY keyboard when the screen is in landscape mode and on a combination dialing keypad/SureType keyboard in portrait mode. Either way, the “truly tactile” touchscreen “responds much like a physical keyboard,” Lazarides said.

The U.S. version of the Storm, the 9530, operates in U.S. bands in CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A mode, and in the foreign 2.1GHz band, it operates in W-CDMA HSPA (high speed packet access) mode. It also operates as a quad-band EDGE phone for global use. Verizon Wireless parent Vodaphone will offer the Storm 9500, which will operate in quad-band EDGE mode and 2.1GHz HSPA mode.

The Storm will be available exclusively to Verizon in the U.S. and to Vodafone in Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand. Pricing hasn’t been announced.

Storm’s front panel features four hard buttons, and the touchscreen supports multi-touches, taps, slides and other touchscreen gestures so users can highlight, scroll, pan, zoom, cut and paste. The Storm also supports RIM’s personal and corporate e-mail services as well as SMS, MMS, and IM services. 

Other features include:   

  • 3.2 megapixel camera
     preloaded DataViz Documents to Go, enabling users to edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files

  • 1GB of embedded memory plus microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 16 GB of additional memory.

  •  media player.

  • 3.5 mm stereo headset jack and stereo Bluetooth.

  •  ambient light sensor to automatically adjust backlighting.

  • Removable 1400 mAhr battery delivering about six hours of talk time on 3G networks and 15 days of standby time

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