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Will BlackBerry Torch Appeal to both Messaging and Multimedia Enthusiasts?

by Paul Brown | 8月 04, 2010

BlackBerry_Torch Yesterday RIM announced the BlackBerry Torch 9800, the company’s first device to feature both a full physical QWERTY device and a touchscreen. The device is also the first to feature the new BlackBerry 6 operating system, which Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Lab will be benchmarking at launch. So what is the appeal of having a full QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen? Firstly, a full QWERTY keyboard is very appealing to heavy messengers. I speak to many people who send a lot of text messages/emails/IM’s on their phone who do not want to give up a physical keyboard. They like the tactile sensation of being able to feel every key press, something no touchscreen technology has been able to replicate. Secondly, if implemented correctly, a touchscreen interface should be extremely simple and intuitive. This is an area in which Apple has excelled in – if you see something, you can press on it. Having not yet experienced the BlackBerry 6 OS I can’t say how intuitive it will be – but it will be important for BlackBerry to move away from the very structured menu system as implemented on the BlackBerry Storm. Finally, a full touchscreen allows for a much larger display. The Touch features a 3.2” display, compared to the BlackBerry Curve 8900 which only had a 2.44” display. Not only will this allow for a much better multimedia experience, but, combined with BlackBerry’s new WebKit-based web browser, should dramatically improve the web browsing experience which was sub-par on previous devices. Who will the form factor appeal to? Research conducted by Strategy Analytics in 2009 suggests that a touchscreen only device and a touchscreen/QWERTY combination are the most appealing form factors across current mobile phone users in the US and Western Europe. Amongst existing BlackBerry owners, a QWERTY only device is most appealing, but this is followed by a touchscreen/QWERTY combination – with 59% of existing BlackBerry owners interested in this form factor. TouchQWERTY Based on form factor alone, the BlackBerry Torch should appeal to both existing and non-existing BlackBerry device owners. If the BlackBerry 6 operating system is simple and intuitive, then this should help RIM to keep pace with Apple and Android, who have enjoyed most of the recent limelight and success in Smartphone devices. However, questions still remain as to what compelling features the BlackBerry Torch will provide that leading competitors aren’t… - Paul Update: WDL clients can view the BlackBerry Torch benchmark evaluation here

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