RIM is gearing up for local release of the second-gen Storm 2, but which carrier will score the touchscreen smartphone?
There’s a storm on the horizon – or, to be more precise, a Storm 2.
RIM is preparing for Australian launch of its second-gen BlackBerry Storm, which officially goes by the moniker of Storm 9520 (the original was the Storm 9500), with review units being seeded among selected Aussie media from next week.
RIM’s first touchscreen Storm did little to rain on the iPhone’s parade. Its ‘SurePress’ implementation of a touchscreen was generally felt to be inaccurate and inelegant. The 3G device oddly lacked Wi-Fi and a series of bothersome performance bugs marred its debut.
By all accounts the Storm 2, which was released in the North American and European markets in October last year, is the result of RIM listening to reviewers and customers.
The company’s designers headed back to the labs and reworked SurePress into a more responsive touchscreen which now supports multitouch. The navigational controls, which were physical buttons on the original Storm, have also been shifted into the touchscreen panel.
At the same time Wi-Fi made it into the mix, the bugs were swatted and onboard memory was doubled.
RIM hasn’t announced which local carrier will list the Storm 2 but it’s likely to be the Vodafone-Three entity VHA, as Vodafone was exclusive agent for the Storm (indeed, the carrier shared development costs with RIM in the hope it would score a similar success as AT&T enjoyed in the US with the iPhone). Vodafone is already the sole carrier for the Storm 2 in Europe and the UK.