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BlackBerry launches its first touch screen phone

Expected to compete with iPhone

SteveMakris,edmontonjournal.com

Published: Wednesday,October08,2008

EDMONTON - Waterloo-based Research in Motion's firsttouchscreensmart phone, the 9530 Storm, will be available at TelusandBellbefore the holiday season.

It carries all of the BlackBerry business DNA, but isalsoaimedat consumers and is poised to compete directly withthepopulariPhone from Apple.

"The Storm is sexy meets smart," said TammyScott,vice-presidentof marketing communications at Telus. "It hasaninnovative virtualtouch-click keyboard on a highresolutionscreen, and all themultimedia applications one could hopefor."

The new BlackBerry Storm.View Larger Image ViewLargerImage

The new BlackBerry Storm.

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The Storm's tactile-feel, 3.25-inch HGVA (480 x360pixels) screenis slightly smaller than the iPhone's3.5-inchscreen, but it'sunique touch and click feature will makeit lesslikely for users toinadvertently start other phonefunctions orpush the wrongbutton.      

This gives the Storm an advantage over othertouchphones,especially in typing, and will attract hardcoreBlackBerryuserswith current smaller real keyboards. The screenreverts to amuchlarger keyboard when held horizontally but can alsobe used asasmaller three-tap key functionalityliketraditionalphones.       

It includes a 3.5 megapixel camera and video that canbeusedwhile you are talking or browsing online.

 "We expect this phone to be a huge hit withconsumersandbusinesses across Canada," said Scott, stressingtheStorm'straditional BlackBerry business and security features.

The Storm is a Quad CDMA-basedphonewith 3G connectivity but isalso a world phone, switching toallGSM modes when in othercountries which don't carry GSM.

t has additional advantages over the iPhone (butisslightlyheavier) including 15-day standby removable batterylifeand sixhours in talk time. It also comes with one GB memory andusesanexternal Micro SDmemory card with upto eightGBcapacities.        

Pricing has not been announced but is expected tobecompetitivewith the current leading consumer smart phones pricedupto $200.

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