Shares of Research In Motion jumped on Wednesday on speculation that next week it would unveil a new touchscreen BlackBerry that could compete more effectively with Apple Inc’s iPhone and other smartphones.
RIM is expected to announce the launch of the BlackBerry 9800 at a joint event with AT&T Inc in New York next Tuesday. AT&T is expected to get exclusive U.S. rights to sell the new device.
Industry watchers say the 9800 will boast a new operating system, a revamped web browser and full slide-out keyboard — features designed to revitalize a product lineup that critics say looks out of date…
The 9800 is viewed as RIM’s bid to finally silence its own critics, who have complained about a clunky web browser, a humdrum applications store and a product lineup that’s missing a compelling touchscreen device
While some may be quick to compare this upcoming device with the iPhone, it would seem that they’re now competing with Android more so than Apple. And given the underwhelming consumer reaction that greeted both the Blackberry Storm 1 and 2, RIM better have some tricks up its sleeve if it ever wants the Blackberry to be considered more than simply a great email device.
The device will reportedly be announced next Tuesday and hit stores in mid-August.