RIM to ditch tiny plastic keyboards, develop new OS, touchscreen devices in response to Apple iPhone

“Research In Motion Ltd. is said to be preparing a whole new ‘9000-series’ operating system and device platform to take on Apple Inc., Google, and others in 2008,” Dan Jones reports for Unstrung.

“The 9000-series is described by Carmi Levy, an analyst at AR Communications Inc. , as ‘the future of the BlackBerry franchise,’ a complete breakaway from the device’s business roots,” Jones reports. “Instead, the new series targets the consumer space.”

“‘The 9000 is supposed to be a touch-screen device, very similar in form factor to the iPhone,’ Levy says. ‘Which means that it is not an enterprise-friendly device,'” Jones reports.

MacDailyNews Take: How does having a touch-screen make something “not an enterprise-friendly device?” Sheesh, the manure some people will try to spread.

“The 9000 series will break from the traditional half-screen, half-keyboard look of the BlackBerry. The handsets will also incorporate an upgraded multimedia system… Better MP3 and video capabilities are crucial if RIM is to take on Apple, Google, and others,” Jones reports.

MacDailyNews Take: And the plastic keyboards with Tic Tac-sized buttons begin their march into obscurity. Apple has changed the world again. Just as with Macintosh, we’ll all be using iPhones before long, whether they be the real things or half-assed fakes. And, if RIM thinks they can jam some “MP3 and video capabilities” into their devices that can compete with iPod+iTunes, they’re deluding themselves like so many who’ve come (and gone) before.

Jones continues, “Levy speculates that RIM will introduce the 9000-series in the first quarter of next year.”

“Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rick from Quantico” for the heads up.]

It certainly sounds like RIM has seen the future — visionaries that they are — and, instead of waiting for them to cobble together their knockoff, you can buy it today from Apple.

60 Comments

  1. “Levy speculates that RIM will introduce the 9000-series in the first quarter of next year.”

    Yeah, right. Just because you know it can be done doesn’t mean you know how to do it. And you can’t infringe on Apple’s patents so you have to re-invent it all. Yeah, early next year. This I gotta see.

  2. RIM is a formidable competitor. It is not just a small version of an incompetent Microsoft. People actually love their Crackberries.

    Who could love their digital devices? People who own Apple products and people who own RIM products. RIM may just be able to compete with Apple’s iPhone. RIM gets it. Other phone manufacturers do not stand a chance.

  3. If anyone has a chance, it would be RIMM. The key skill set is software and Operating Systems, which RIMM does have experience at, as there are not a windows mobile-based phone. Believe me I’m not saying it will be great, but of all the phone makers, they’ve got the best shot. They aren’t a bad company at all, really.

  4. “not an enterprise-friendly device?”

    My fingers become fatter and my eyes blur more when I run my business, so I need the tactile keyboard. Don’t worry, they auto-repair when I need to enter family events.

    And the week before it is released Apple will drop the price of the 8G iPhone $50 and introduce a 3G 32G iPhone, stuffing up RIM’s profit margins. Anyway, the competition is good.

    Now if only the AppleTV was tweaked with wireless purchases and TV subscriptions.

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