BlackBerry Storm2 Is Official… Mostly

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Today is apparently the official unveiling of the BlackBerry Storm 2, although the situation isn’t as clear cut as it could be. RIM has confirmed this device exists, but has revealed no details, while several reviews of this upcoming device have been published.

RIM BlackBerry Storm2The official BlackBerry website has a large image of this smartphone, and teases with an offer to “Get a closer look at the new BlackBerry Storm2” but the link leads to an overview of the original Storm.

Is It Walt’s Fault?
It’s possible RIM hadn’t intended to announce this product today, but yesterday the Wall Street Journal ran Walt Mossberg’s review of it, letting the cat out of the bag. This was quickly followed by at least one more review.

These sources say the Storm2 will be released by Verizon in mid-November for $200 with a two-year contract. At launch, this will be the only U.S. carrier with this model.

UPDATE:
Late in the day, Vodafone offically announced that it will release this model in seven European countries as well as South Africa. It will be coming soon to the U.K., Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain.  It will also be available in France, Italy, and South Africa in time for Christmas.

There is still no official announcement from Verizon, but at least RIM has fixed the link on its homepage so that it now leads to an overview of the Storm2.

An Overview of the BlackBerry Storm2
As the earlier leaks and rumors had indicated, the second-generation Storm will greatly resemble its predecessor, but with a change in the way the touchscreen works, the inclusion of Wi-Fi,a nd much more internal storage.

Like its predecessor, it will have a 3.2-inch, 480-by-360-pixel display. It will be exactly the same size as the current model, and weigh just slightly more. 

The original version of this smartphone uses a system in which the entire screen moves slightly on a pivot point when an on-screen button is pushed. This set up wasn’t popular, and has been modified in the new model. The screen will still move slightly when pressed on, but on a system of activators behind the display.

The BlackBerry Storm has support for mobile broadband but not Wi-Fi. The follow-up model will remedy this, and include both Verizon’s EV-DO Rev. A and Wi-Fi. And from now on this will be the rule, not the exception — RIM promises that all its future CDMA devices will have Wi-Fi.

In addition, the Storm2 will include 2 GB of storage, while its predecessor has just 1 GB.

There will also be a number of other smaller changes. For example, the buttons on the front are now part of the touchscreen.

This smartphone will ship with BlackBerry OS 5.0, and include a suite of productivity and entertainment applications. Naturally, this includes RIM’s Push e-mail system, a web browser, and video and music apps.

It will also have a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS receiver, and a microSD card slot.

Source: RIMWSJ and PC World

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