Storm II, cheap Curves coming to Blackberry

 

Research in Motion is working on a new version of the Blackberry Bold that combines a touch screen with a QWERTY keyboard, a low-cost version of the Curve and a successor to the Storm featuring a tactile touch screen, according to sources.

There were officially no new handhelds announced officially at RIM's Wireless Enterprise Symposium this year, but behind closed doors RIM has been briefing some of its closest partners on a slew of new devices that are in the works.

Sources present at these meetings told iTnews that RIM plans to abandon the trackball in all future models of the Blackberry, which will be replaced on all models by a laptop-like sensor pad.

Within six months RIM will also announce a new device that combines Blackberry's signature QWERTY keyboard with a touch screen.

The device will be the successor to the Blackberry Bold but no decision has yet been made on what this device will be named when it comes to market.

RIM is shortly expected to also announce a second version of the consumer Blackberry Storm device. Storm's successor will be far more enhanced than its predecessor, which has not been the most practical or ergonomically friendly device RIM has ever released.

The new Storm will feature tactile touch - users will not only be able to navigate via touch but also push their fingers against the screen to "click" on content.

Finally, while RIM founder and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis told iTnews the visionary handset manufacturer had no plans to release cheaper devices to accommodate tough economic times, sources told iTnews RIM is planning a cheaper model of the popular Blackberry Curve, expected to be priced at under US$300 and released before the end of the year.

RIM declined an invitation to comment.


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