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MWC 2008: RIM CEO Talks Up 3G, Touchscreen Blackberry

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We can praise RIM for many things but its slow adoption of 3G and touchscreen technology isn't one of them. That looks set to change though...

This week the business favourite has given the clearest hint yet that the technologies everyone wants to see in its handsets are at last getting the go ahead.

Speaking with Reuters at the Mobile World Congress, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said "For sure we're looking at all kinds of different device packaging and presentation. I think getting religious on packaging {Blackberry's famous template design} is not the way to go. It's really user preference-oriented. "

Spin aside, what Balsillie is saying here is consumer demand is driving RIM to product a touchscreen Blackberry that will cause the company to break with its traditional candybar Qwerty form factor. As for addressing 3G, Balsillie was even more explicit stating: "Certainly going to HSDPA is something that's very important to us in the near term."

As an end user I'd suggest this means a 3G Blackberry will be with us before the summer is out (possibly sooner) while a touchscreen model won't appear until either the end of 2008 or early 2009. Still, with a patent lodged this week by RIM showing initial designs for a touchscreen Blackberry (images above) we should start looking at this with a 'When' rather than 'If' mindset...

Link:
Reuters Report

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