You may have heard recently that Research In Motion is planning on bringing out a number of new smart-phones in the coming months. This includes the new Blackberry Torch, which is the touch screen version of its best selling Bold phone. There will also be a touch-screen only phone dubbed the Torch 9850. But are they new entries onto the smart-phone market enough to topple the best selling iPhone, or does Apple still have superiority when it comes to cell phone technology?
The first consideration is probably the price. While iPhones are likely to be the more expensive, it’s not certain which phones offer the best value for money. The tens of thousands of apps that can be downloaded to extend its usefulness for example enhance the iPhone, making it an even more useful device. While the Blackberry has a similar scheme, its app store is lightly stocked compared to the iPhone. So although you may consider a Blackberry to save a few bucks, this might actually be through serious compromise to functionality.
We should also consider the Blackberry OS7 operating system that the new RIM handsets will run on. This is a definite improvement over previous operating systems, but it’s actually not that much different to OS6 found in last year’s original Blackberry Torch phone. The new operating system was originally called OS6.1, but RIM revised this to the OS7 with claims that the upgrade was so big it deserved to be labelled as a brand new operating system. Whether this is true or not, RIM could be accused of using marketing techniques to sell it’s devices based on inflated software advances.
Regardless of whether RIM actually did create a new operating system, or merely upgraded an existing one – it really doesn’t matter that much, because it won’t be around when RIM move to their new “next-generation” OS called QNX. This software is already in use on the Blackberry PlayBook tablet computer, so it won’t be long before it replaces OS6, OS6.1 or OS7, whatever they want to call it. So, buying a Blackberry today may seem almost like buying old technology.
Meanwhile the Apple iPhone seems to just gain in popularity, despite blunders from Apple. A few years ago, when boarding a train or a bus, every other person had a Blackberry. It was the in thing to have for a businessperson. But now, the roles have reversed and now everyone is sporting a new iPhone 4, complete with its seemingly easy to use interface and multiple exchange server connections. No longer is the Blackberry a work phone and the iPhone a mere plaything. The iPhone has become a full-blown need to have device for many executives.
So has RIM fallen behind the times with its Blackberry phones? Have they failed to move ahead with technology quick enough? Some seem to think so, and even the die-hard Blackberry fans of old are seriously considering whether they are planning to be true to their faith, or whether they are willing to jump ship and sail off to new frontiers.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.