For many years, RIM has been known for its BlackBerry line of cellular-wireless handhelds. Over the weekend, though, some pictures emerged of what is supposed to be this company’s first smartphone.
These images, which are available on HowardChui.com, show a fairly standard looking smartphone.
Update: These pictures have been removed from HowardChui.com, but one of them can still be found on Engadget.
Notably absent from this device is the miniature QWERTY keyboard that has been a hallmark of the BlackBerry line of handhelds for so long. This will mean users who want to write emails on this device will have to use the keypad. However, the lack of a built-in keyboard allows this device to be smaller than the BlackBerry handhelds.
This smartphone is reportedly being created for consumers. The BlackBerry like of cellular-wireless handhelds are primarily used by business people.
Details of this device are very sketchy. Its code-name is Charm, but what the final name for this product will be has not been revealed. It isn’t even clear whether it will be called a BlackBerry, or if RIM will create a new name for its line of smartphones.
Its feature set is not known, aside from the fact that its expected to offer wireless email, web surfing, and PIM applications.
It’s exact size and weight are also not known, and neither is when this device will hit the market.
RIM Competing Against Itself
Whenever RIM releases this model, it won’t be the first smartphone to use the BlackBerry email service. RIM licenses this technology to other companies, who include it on their handhelds and smartphones. These companies are willing to pay the licensing fee because the BlackBerry email service has acquired a reputation in the corporate world as the best available.