Posted tagged ‘Verizon’

What Happens in Vegas…

February 2, 2011

As we turn the calendar from one year to another, what does it make you think about? New Year’s Resolutions? Back-To-School? The Super Bowl?

Well, if you’re like me and employed in the world of tech PR, it means one thing…the annual “Super Bowl” of consumer electronics events, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

If you’ve ever attended CES then you know that the show has grown exponentially since its early days. There’s nothing quite like getting more than 140,000+ of your closest friends together in Las Vegas for 4 days of the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos from some of the largest consumer electronics companies in the world. Each year, months of hype lead up to the show. Who’s going to be there? What are they going to be demonstrating? What’s the big, new “it” product? And this year was no different.

Quite a few major technology trends emerged from this year’s show floor that are sure to keep me busy throughout 2011. Some of the significant topics of discussion included the launch of dozens of new tablet devices, wireless 4G LTE and enhanced connected television technologies.

And if you thought that CES had lost its luster and prestige…think again! Last year was a major down year in terms of attendance for CES. But, it was the large crowd at this year’s show that caught the attention of many in the media:

“I must’ve gotten the following question fifty times in the past few days: what’s the coolest thing you saw at CES? Every time, I’ve given the same answer: the crowd…It’s what the size of the 2011 CES signifies about the consumer electronics industry, and about the cultural centrality of a set of devices and issues that used to be the sole province of geeks.” Jon Stokes, Ars Technica

“CES 2011 is back to normal. It was packed with vendors and attendees. The overall tone was extremely up beat… It was fun to walk the floor and see what was on display.” Bill Wong, Electronic Design

There was no shortage of big names at CES. Amongst those speaking in Las Vegas this year were Steve Ballmer of Microsoft, Rupert Stadler of AUDI AG, Boo-Keun Yoon of Samsung, Alan Mulally of Ford and Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon. Each gave a Keynote presentation and Mulally used his presentation to unveil the company’s first electric vehicle, the Ford Focus Electric. Did you miss any of the Keynote presentations? Don’t worry…in this day and age you can easily go back and watch all of them online on the CES website anytime you like.

We talked trends coming out of the show earlier, and in 2011, there was no shortage of hot button topics that everyone wanted to talk about. Here’s what members of the media had to say about what they saw on the show floor:

“From the very first press conference, the main theme from the show emerged: your next smartphone will likely connect to a 4G network. For business use, 4G on your smartphone or tablet means easier Internet back-ups, smooth video chats, and snappier Web viewing.” John Brandon, Inc. Magazine

“This year, the show was all about Android. We ushered in the era of dual-core Androids with LG and Motorola, we celebrated the 4G revolution with LG, Motorola, and Samsung, and we even got a glimpse at how Android works when screen resolution is bumped beyond the all-too-common WVGA, thanks to Motorola. Oh, and a little thing called Android 3.0 Honeycomb is going to transform the way we think about not only tablets, but smartphones too.” Brandon Miniman, PocketNow.com

Larger crowds, 4G and gadgets galore! These were some of the highlights of CES this year. I think we can safely say that the recession appears to be over and if CES is any barometer for the state of the industry, then we’re in for a big 2011!

Did you go to CES this year? What was your biggest takeaway? What was your most memorable moment (at the event…not in Vegas)?

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Motorola Introduces Android Phone

September 10, 2009

Motorola unveiled its first device using Google’s Android system today, hoping that it will attract consumers looking to use their phones to connect with friends, family and colleagues.

From the Associated Press:

The Cliq comes with a touch screen and a standard, “QWERTY” keyboard that slides out from its side. Software on it will let users aggregate contact information from various social networks and e-mail accounts. Small application “widgets” will show such information as your friends’ Facebook status updates on the home screen.

The new device also sports a five-megapixel camera, allowing for sharper images than most other phones, including Apple Inc.’s iPhone and its three-megapixel resolution.

The Cliq, which Motorola unveiled Thursday during a GigaOM mobile Internet conference in San Francisco, will be available from wireless carrier T-Mobile in time for the holiday season. Pricing and release details will be announced within three weeks.

Motorola plans to unveil a second Android phone in the coming weeks. It will also be available for the holidays, most likely through Verizon Wireless, which has already said it will be one of the U.S. carriers for a Motorola smart phone.

From IDG News Service:

The touch-screen phone will use an upcoming Internet-based service for Motorola phones called MotoBlur, which will integrate information from users’ contacts on a variety of social-networking services including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. MotoBlur users will be able to combine their contacts on all those networks into one contact list, organize their own groups or divide contacts by social network, according to Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola and CEO of the company’s Mobile Devices group.

The Cliq, unveiled at the Mobilize conference in San Francisco, will have a slideout QWERTY keyboard as well as a touch screen. It will come with Wi-Fi as well as 3G (third-generation) connectivity, a 5-megapixel camera that can shoot video at 24 frames per second and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.


In This Economy: Think Before You Buy

November 20, 2008

Many Americans have become flummoxed in these budget-conscious times by the attempt to determine time- versus cost-savings while shopping, as well as what discounted items are truly necessities. One expert says Americans are making “diagnostic errors.” “They’re stressed out, and using the wrong information to make a decision, and ignoring all other data that contradicts that decision,” he said. In these tough times, it just makes sense to save more money than we have in the past.

From the New York Times:

All around the country, at similar cosmic moments, perfectly sound brains have been seizing up like an old car on a frigid day, particularly in the last few weeks. As Americans attempt to perform cost-benefit analyses of their needs and behaviors, they are whittling pennies from cable bills only to squander dollars on gas driving miles to discount stores, or on coupon-spurred splurges for nonessential items, like Cheez Whiz or organizing supplies. Pinched by shriveled retirement and college accounts, battered by ballooning mortgage costs, rent and co-op maintenance increases, and hedging against the possibility that a job might vanish, some are practicing economies that may not deserve the name.

When Best Buy announced its latest sales figures last month, the company reported “an unprecedented drop in consumer buying of items like flat-screen televisions,” said Ori Brafman, a business expert and an author, with his brother, Rom, of “Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior,” out since June from Doubleday Business. “But when Wal-Mart released its report last week, there was a surprise. Consumers had increased their flat-screen purchases. Somehow, because Wal-Mart feels like a bargain store, shoppers who have deprived themselves of luxury items elsewhere rationalized their purchases at Wal-Mart as ‘getting a good deal,’ ” Mr. Brafman continued. “Granted, flat-panel TV’s at Wal-Mart might run a little cheaper than elsewhere, but no financial adviser would include one on his or her list of Items to Buy During Tough Times.”

Americans may be forgoing Starbucks and stocking up on Spam, but they are also making severe “diagnostic errors,” Mr. Brafman said. “They’re stressed out, and using the wrong information” — such as the belief that buying at Wal-Mart equals saving money — “to make a decision, and ignoring all other data that contradicts that decision.”

Kathy Peel, a Dallas-based family manager (that is, a life coach whose niche is training families to run their homes like businesses), said that incidences of feckless budgeting and bad math seem to be on the rise, at least judging from the reports of coaches trained in her system. Leslie McKee, a Peel-trained family manager in Pittsburgh, has noticed a pattern of “people signing up for discount stores that sell in bulk and over-purchasing ‘bargains’ that are so enormous they will not live long enough to use the item,” she said. “Then they call me and spend more money to help them organize it all into mini-malls inside their homes.”

“What’s happening I think is we are letting all our gremlins out,” said Carol Prisant, American editor of The World of Interiors magazine. “Some people will obsess about drops of detergent and others will want to buy in massive quantities. This is the moment when we all sort of mildly crack up.”

Ms. Prisant, an antiques expert who has written books on how to gauge the value of furniture and other decorative objects, nonetheless stumbled recently, with a budgeting choice that involved shunning the $12 quart of green tomato soup at Grace’s Market — once a weekly purchase — but forking out $500 for two extra-large doughnut-shaped and oyster-colored dog beds from Perfect Dog Beds, which match the color of her new apartment.

“O.K., the old ones were yucky,” Ms. Prisant said. “But they were also, um, brown.”

“Grocery wise, cable foolish” is how Richard Winkler, an executive producer at Curious Pictures, a television production company in Manhattan, describes his current habits. “You know, walking three blocks to save 10 cents on Triscuits,” Mr. Winkler said, while “my phone bill still has charges like $4.99 per month for technical stunts I can’t even pronounce, much less access. No wonder Verizon is doing well.” (Mr. Winkler, whose wife has been entering their expenses into a Quicken financial planning program, vows to look at the budget she’s created — soon, really — and start pruning the premium channels from his cable bill.)

Android is Here…What Next?

October 22, 2008

T-Mobile USA has made the formal, nationwide launch of its G1. This is the first phone to run Google’s Android operating system. The G1 smartphone is now available to consumers at retail outlets in cities where T-Mobile’s 3G service is available, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle.

CNET, James Martin

Credit: CNET, James Martin

Google made its first retail sale of the G1 last night in San Francisco. Now that it’s here, the question many will ask is what’s next? Can Android live up to the hype? Will it be an iPhone killer? What should expectations be for this much anticipated device?

From the Associated Press:

Google is jumping into the mobile phone business with its new G1 phone. The G1 is available starting today for $179 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile.

The new gadget features a touch screen, slide-out keyboard and a trackball.

This alternative to Apple’s iPhone is the first cell phone powered by Google’s Android operating system.

From CNET:

Along with 3G support, the HTC-built G1 features a touch screen, a full QWERTY keyboard, and GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. But the big attraction for many will be the open-source Android software, the means by which Google is seeking to up-end the old ways of the telecommunications business.

The Android mobile operating system is closely tied to Google services and, says CNET News’ Stephen Shankland, it gives the Internet titan yet another way to get people to use them. For instance:

Search ads are, of course, Google’s bread and butter. Android’s Web browser can use others’ search engines, but a secondary part of the G1’s home screen features a prominent Google search box. There’s no option to change the search box to use search from Microsoft or Yahoo.

CNET Reviews, meanwhile, offers this bottom line on the G1 as a phone:

While we’re not in love with the design and would have liked some additional features, the real beauty of the T-Mobile G1 is the Google Android platform, as it has the potential to make smartphones more personal and powerful. That said, it’s not quite there yet, so for now, the G1 is best suited for early adopters and gadget hounds, rather than consumers and business users.

For the full review, see: HTC Dream T-Mobile G1. CNET’s Kent German, too, offers his own assessment: On Call: Welcoming the G1.

From ZDNet:

The excitement the mobile industry feels over delivery of Android software is all about a single number.

The number is 21. That’s the percentage by which AT&T’s wireless profits jumped in the last quarter. The most attractive business, postpaid (long-term) contracts, rose 40%.

During the quarter AT&T activated 2.4 million Apple 3G accounts, 40% of them new customers. Those are killer numbers.

The telecom business has suddenly become a struggle for survival. Shares in all the major wireless carriers are down sharply this year, mostly 30-40%, although Sprint shares are down 70%.

Apple is keeping AT&T afloat in these tough times. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile can’t compete. Verizon is trying everything it can think of, buying Alltel for its market share, even considering contract-free plans, but nothing is working.

Worse, all carriers are doing expensive network build-outs, increasing the bandwidth they deliver customers using devices that might compete with the Apple 3G. Trouble is nothing does.

It’s not going to just be about price, as Funambol thinks. Handset makers have to deliver something that will encourage the data network use the iPhone stimulates. Some estimate iPhones take 500 times the bits of other mobile users.

In this, Android is not the only option. Carriers are willing to support Windows Mobile, the Blackberry, LiMo phones, even Symbian.

From InternetNews.com:

The arrival Wednesday of the T-Mobile G1, the first Android smartphone, marks the debut of the most open mobile operating system yet.

Android’s creators – the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), Google and T-Mobile – have pledged to fully support third-party application development, promising no one will dictate what users can download to the G1, or what developers can upload to the Android Market storefront.

Such openness is aimed at advancing mobile applications, fostering innovative services and, of course, becoming the ‘game changer’ in a competitive and crowded smartphone market.

Apple’s success with its popular consumer-friendly iPhone, and RIM’s (NASDAQ: RIMM) leading enterprise device, the BlackBerry, are proof that tight development and security controls can prove successful.

In fact, RIM’s co-CEO noted today at the vendor’s first developer conference that BlackBerry is known as “the” secure enterprise device.

Android leaders don’t dispute security is a critical smartphone aspect. Google has put a ‘kill switch’ clause within Android’s Market service agreement that states Google can and will remove applications that have a “malicious intent.”

But the search giant and its Android partners have also made it clear they won’t be policing and patrolling applications as closely as Apple or RIM. At the G1 product launch event last month the companies said they would not prohibit third-party Skype applications that would allow voice communications away from T-Mobile’s network.

Motorola Preparing Its Own Google Android Phone

October 20, 2008

Motorola is reportedly making its own version of a phone based on Google’s Android operating system and is expected to release the handset in mid-2009. The device will likely house such features as a touch-screen interface, slide-out keyboard and social-network-related applications. Without detailing its intentions, Motorola stated that it was excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google.

From BusinessWeek:

As the wireless world awaits the Oct. 22 debut of the first phone based on the Google-backed Android software, engineers at Motorola are hard at work on their own Android handset. Motorola’s version will boast an iPhone-like touch screen, a slide-out qwerty keyboard, and a host of social-network-friendly features, BusinessWeek.com has learned.

Motorola has been showing spec sheets and images of the phone to carriers around the world in the past two months and is likely to introduce the handset in the U.S. sometime in the second quarter of 2009, according to people familiar with Motorola’s plans. Building a phone based on the highly anticipated Android operating system is part of Motorola’s effort to revive a loss-making handset division that has forfeited market share amid a drought of bestselling phones. Motorola stock, which on Oct. 17 rose a penny to 5.62, is hovering near a 16-year low.

The phone will appear among a new class of social smartphones designed to make it easy for users to connect quickly and easily to mobile social networks such as Facebook and News Corp.’s MySpace. Such phones let users message in-network friends directly from phone contact lists, for example. A Facebook representative declined to comment on the company’s work with Motorola. MySpace.com didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Motorola declined to elaborate on its plans, but said in a statement: “We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google” and the community of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance that are working on the Android operating system.

From InformationWeek:

More specs of the Android-based phone from Motorola have hit the Webosphere and the news is looking good. The phone will have a large touchscreen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and will undercut the HTC G1 by $30.

We already know that Motorola is working on an Android phone. Recently, we learned that the phone will provide access to social networking services. BusinessWeek has confirmed this, and that the phone will have a touchscreen similar to the iPhone and also a QWERTY keyboard for easier text input. According to the BW report, insiders say the device will bear similar design language as the recently-announced Motorola Krave ZN4.

Word is that the phone will have a higher-end look when compared to the HTC G1, which goes on sale starting this week. While the G1 will sell for about $180 after rebates with new contract, the as-yet unnamed Motorola Android phone will be priced at the $150 level.

What we don’t know is what network technology the Motorola Android phone will use. The HTC G1 uses the GSM system, and is compatible with networks worldwide. Given the large number of European companies invovled in the Open Handset Alliance, it would make sense for Motorola to choose GSM-based networking technologies for its device, as opposed to the CDMA-based technology used by Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

The bad news is that the phone won’t be ready until some time in the second quarter of 2009, which could easily put it as much as six months behind the G1’s launch. We don’t know if this is because Motorola started developing later for the Android than HTC did or simply because Motorola is taking its time to make sure things turn out as good as possible.

From GigaOM:

Sanjay Jha, who now heads up Motorola’s handset business (which is likely to be spun out some time soon), was another proponent of Android, back when he was the COO of Qualcomm. (Related: GigaOM Interview with Sanjay Jha.) Here are some notable bits about the upcoming phone:

  • Motorola is showing specs and images to carriers.
  • The phone could be introduced sometime in second quarter of 20098.
  • The phone will have a touchscreen the size of iPhone screen and a slide-out qwerty keyboard.
  • The phone will focus on social networking features.
  • The team spearheading the Android development is the one that came to Motorola via acquisition of Good Technology.

The new phone based on Android may not be such a bad idea for Motorola, but the company needs to rationalize its vast array of devices that use an equally confusing number of operating systems. In addition to Android, Motorola has two different Linux efforts — its internal version and LiMo-based Linux devices — as well as Motorola’s proprietary operating system, Qualcomm’s Brew and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.

From CRN:

While Motorola has declined to specify its plans, it issued a statement saying, “We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google,” BusinessWeek.com reported, indicating that Motorola has been showing wireless carriers spec sheets and images of the device, which is expected to hit the U.S. market in the second quarter of 2009.

Word of Motorola’s first Android-based device comes just weeks after reports surfaced noting that the Schaumburg, Ill.-based handset maker is trumping up its Android development team by assembling a group of up to 350 Android developers to reinvigorate its struggling mobile device business. The added developers will bulk up Motorola’s Android team from the 50 members it has today.

Motorola’s Android device will pit it head-to-head against other touch-screen titans that have recently stormed the market in attempts to dethrone Apple’s 3G iPhone from its spot at the top. As a sort of prelude, Motorola last week released its first-ever touch-screen phone, the Motorola Krave, which launched Oct. 14 on Verizon Wireless.

From CNET:

Motorola’s Android phone, according to the report, is expected to feature a touch screen similar to Apple’s popular iPhone, as well as a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that allows users to connect to such social-networking sites as MySpace and Facebook. It is unclear how similar it will be to T-Mobile USA’s newly released G1 phone, manufactured by HTC, which also uses Android.

The phone is anticipated to make its U.S. debut in the second quarter of next year, according to sources cited in the BusinessWeek report, which noted that carriers have already seen spec sheets and images of the devices.

Motorola’s Android phone may carry a price of approximately $150 to $180, with a two-year carrier contract, according to the report.

Verizon To Raise Text Message Costs…Or Maybe They Won’t

October 11, 2008

It appears that Verizon plans to impose drastic new fees for vendor-generated text messages. Or do they?

The story has been big news across the mobile content, marketing and messaging industries over the past 24 hours and is still unfolding as we speak this evening.

As most of you know, mBlox, the world’s largest mobile transaction network, is a client of mine so I have kept up to date with developments throughout the day. Here’s a few articles to give you a little more insight into this developing, and most interesting, story.

From RCR Wireless News:

The off-deck content world reacted with shock to Verizon Wireless’ plan to impose a drastic new fee for vendor-generated text messages. However, it’s unclear whether the carrier will actually follow through with the charge.

The nation’s No. 2 carrier this week informed partners that it plans tack on a 3-cent charge for every MT (motile terminated) message processed on its network beginning Nov. 1. MT messages typically include text alerts, interactive voting notifications and SMS search responses, and have become increasingly popular as SMS has become mainstream in the United States.

“There’s absolutely a sense of panic, and it has to do with the immediacy of the move,” said Steve Livingston, CMO of mBlox, a dominant player in the message-aggregation space. “We really haven’t had time to discuss it. There are a lot of questions that we’re trying to assess.”

From Wireless Week:

A Verizon Wireless spokeswoman characterized the move as something the company needs to do as part of business, but content providers and aggregators are concerned the rate increase will cause brands and marketers to ditch mobile in favor of cheaper, more traditional alternatives, like e-mail.

“This recent announcement from Verizon is very significant because a large number of market segments will no longer be able to participate in off-portal SMS services. Although we understand the carrier’s need to monetize, the immediacy, the market timing and level of cost will create a shock to the system,” said Steve Livingston, chief marketing officer at SMS aggregator mBlox. “The mobile channel will quickly become unattractive to many companies, small and large, that have been investing in new innovative programs and services.”

From the New York Times:

Verizon Wireless this week told companies that send out text messages that starting Nov. 1 it will impose a fee of 3 cents for each message it delivers to the phones of its subscribers. The plan prompted waves of protest among many of the companies that use text messages, and Verizon has backed off the details.

Steve Livingston, the director of marketing for mBlox, which processes text messages for companies including News Corporation’s MySpace social network and The New York Times, said the volume of messages it handles could fall by more than half.

“Alert services and social networks don’t work at 3 cents,” Mr. Livingston said.

Mr. Livingston and Zaw Thet, the chief executive of 4Info, a company that sends messages on behalf of Yahoo and USA Today, said Verizon had sent them information that was much more specific than what Mr. Nelson described.

“We received a formal notification of a rate change,” Mr. Livingston said, adding that the short time frame would be disruptive for mBlox’s customers.

“We have a lot of companies that have been working on their fall marketing campaigns,” he said.

Mr. Livingston and Mr. Thet said Verizon was discussing alternative pricing plans with big senders of text messages. And they said that some payment to the wireless carriers was appropriate, given the growth of text-message advertising.

From CNET:

The blogosphere has been up in arms over the past 24 hours as news spread that Verizon Wireless is planning to increase the per-message fee it charges companies that send text alerts.

My colleague Matt Diaz at ZDNet said he’d stop using Twitter if the charge was passed along to him.

“Certainly, as someone who updates my own Twitter account somewhat regularly, I’m not inclined to start paying for users to receive my notifications via SMS. If that were the case, I’d just stop using Twitter.”

But Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon Wireless spokesman, said the price hike has not been finalized. Still, he acknowledged that Verizon Wireless has been discussing ways to offset increased costs associated with heavy volumes of SMS text messaging on its network.

“We are currently assessing how to best address the changing messaging marketplace, and are communicating with messaging aggregators, our valued content partners, our technology business partners and, importantly, our friends in the nonprofit and public policy arenas,” he said in an e-mail. “To that end, we recently notified text messaging aggregators–those for-profit companies that provide services to content providers to aggregate and bill for their text messaging programs–that we are exploring ways to offset significantly increased costs for delivering billions upon billions of text messages each month.”

From InformationWeek:

On Friday, a Verizon Wireless spokesman said the message was not the final world on the increase, which is still under consideration. “That draft was intended to stimulate internal business discussions and in no way should have been released to the public and represented as a final document,” he said in an e-mail.RCR reported that companies sending text messages and other content today typically pay from a fraction of a penny to a few cents a message, a rate that Nelson did not challenge. The spokesman said an increase, which would be the first since the service began in 2003, was under consideration “to offset significantly increased costs for delivering billions upon billions of text messages each month.”

A fee boost could be particularly difficult on startups entering a crowded market for providing mobile services. Large Internet companies, such as Google and Yahoo, are unlikely to enjoy paying more to reach users, as well as traditional media companies that send news alerts and other content, such as CNN or ESPN.

Storm Brewing for the iPhone?

October 8, 2008

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Storm smartphone will be hitting the market in the U.S. and Europe next month with exclusive rights belonging to Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. The Storm features a 3.25-inch screen, which is slightly smaller than the iPhone’s; the BlackBerry’s first touch-screen interface; and 3G network support. But, on the negative side, the BlackBerry Storm lacks Wi-Fi access and weighs approximately 16 percent more than the iPhone.

Research in Motion

Credit: Research in Motion

From the Wall Street Journal:

Research in Motion Ltd. is rolling out its first real answer to Apple Inc.’s iPhone, the touch-screen BlackBerry Storm, which will work on broadband networks on both sides of the Atlantic and be exclusive to Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and to Vodafone Group PLC throughout Europe.

BlackBerry will have to distinguish itself amid the wave of other sleek do-everything smart phones coming to market, like Google Inc.’s G1, made by HTC Corp.. The Storm, BlackBerry’s first touch-screen device, aims to make it harder to inadvertently select items while moving images across the screen.

The success of Apple’s iPhone has spawned a series of touch-screen smart-phones from manufacturers around the world over the past year. Consumers will have a multitude of options this holiday season — among them, Samsung Electronics Co.’s Instinct, LG Electronics’ Dare, and the soon-to-be-launched G1 from T-Mobile USA Inc., a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, and Google.

From InformationWeek:

The much-awaited smartphone sports many of the features of Apple’s handsets, and even outshines it in certain categories. The touch-screen smartphone may give Verizon Wireless a legitimate rival to the iPhone 3G, and it may help stem the loss of subscribers to AT&T. The Storm has 3.25-inch touch screen that has a 360 by 480 resolution. Like the iPhone, the Storm has support for multi-touch interface, but RIM’s device will have haptic feedback for its virtual keyboard, and it will be capable of cut and paste. The keyboard will have RIM’s SureType layout in portrait mode, and it will be a full QWERTY layout in landscape orientation.

From CNET:

Tech journalists and gadget lovers across the globe are rejoicing over the announcement of the BlackBerry Storm, RIM’s first touchscreen cell phone to compete with the iPhone.

Those who can’t wait to get their hands on BlackBerry’s latest call it a marvel and its keyboard functionality, which makes you press down on the screen to register a “touch”, is something worth drooling over.

OK, I guess I can concede that the Storm is really neat and the touchscreen idea is fantastic. But I still don’t see how the BlackBerry Storm will be able to compete on any level with the iPhone 3G.

It’s not that I have a problem with RIM–I think the BlackBerry Curve is a fantastic device–or that I’m not impressed by the Storm. I just don’t see how BlackBerry’s first touchscreen device can compete against the iPhone if the vast majority of “mainstream” users simply don’t know anything about it.

Go ahead and ask the person next to you at the office about the BlackBerry Storm. Chances are, if they aren’t in to technology like you and I, they wouldn’t have the slightest clue about it even though it’s making headlines all over the tech world today.

Then ask those people what they knew about the iPhone the day after it was announced. I’ll bet you’ll find that they knew much more about the iPhone than the BlackBerry Storm.

Do you see what I’m getting at here? No matter how important a new device in the cell phone business may be to the growth of the industry, it will never be able to outshine the iPhone.

From ZDNet:

I just got done reading Matthew Miller’s preview of the BlackBerry Storm, RIM’s first BlackBerry that’s replaced the keyboard with a touchscreen system — one that you must physically depress with your finger to manipulate (resulting in a “satisfying click,” as many reviewers have reported).

My question is simple: is this truly an advancement?

It occurs to me that, while RIM’s responsive touchscreen technology, called ClickThrough, allows it to differentiate itself from the iPhone, it’s not a great advancement in the long run. Well-built as any BlackBerry is, I feel that the screen would eventually give out over frequent, Crackberry-level usage. And when the screen doesn’t press anymore (or worse, when it presses too far), then what?

It strikes me that such physical use of the device is actually backtracking a bit, technologically. Perhaps advancement, to me at least, is removing a “touch” altogether.

RIM’s “push-screen,” as I think it should properly be called, seems to bridge the gap between a true keyboard and a true touchscreen. Which is good for RIM’s keyboard-happy users, but by no means some groundbreaking new technology.

Plus, it also occurs to me that this technology would actually slow down the speedier users among us, because you actually have to take the time to depress the screen when tapping a message out.

But we’ll see when Matt gets his hands on one in a month or so.