Next Blackberry Will Be Touchscreen (9000 series)

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RIM 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. 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.Instead, the new series targets the consumer space served by the Pearl and Curve models. (See BlackBerry Bumper Crop in ’08.) “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.”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, along with the standard push email capabilities. Better MP3 and video capabilities are crucial if RIM is to take on Apple, Google, and others.Levy speculates that RIM will introduce the 9000-series in the first quarter of next year. “They were originally shooting for the second half of 2007,” he notes.Unstrung

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