RIM Introduces the Blackberry Storm

Not wanting to leave Apple alone in the “Uber-Cool Touchscreen Phone” market, Research In Motion (RIM) along with their US and European launch partners, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, officially introduced the BlackBerry Storm smartphone earlier today.

“Designed to satisfy the needs of both consumers and business customers, the BlackBerry Storm smartphone combines the powerful communications features, global connectivity and personal productivity advantages of the BlackBerry® platform with a revolutionary touch-screen technology that dramatically enhances the touch interface and enables easy and precise typing. The world’s first “clickable” touch-screen responds much like a physical keyboard and also supports single-touch, multi-touch and gestures for intuitive and efficient application navigation.”

“We are proud to introduce the first touch-screen based BlackBerry smartphone together with Verizon Wireless and Vodafone,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-chief executive officer at RIM. “The BlackBerry Storm is a revolutionary touch-screen smartphone that meets both the communications and multimedia needs of customers and solves the longstanding problem associated with typing on traditional touch-screens. Consumers and business customers alike will appreciate this unique combination of a large and vibrant screen with a truly tactile touch interface.”

“The BlackBerry Storm offers our customers more ways to stay connected to both their personal and professional lives – whether in their communities or around the globe,” said Mike Lanman, vice president and chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless. “The BlackBerry Storm combines the reliability of our 3G network with the dependability and network efficiency of the BlackBerry platform to deliver our customers the ultimate wireless experience – all in one of the coolest smartphones available on the market today.”

Moving touch screen aside, this new BlackBerry does have some great features packed into it, including:

  • DataViz Documents To Go
  • 3.2MP digital camera
  • Built-in GPS receiver
  • 1GB of built-in memory and a microSD card slot for up to 16GB of extra storage
  • 480×360 resolution display
  • Removable 1400mAh battery

Read the full RIM press release here

The “clickbable” touchscreen sounds like an interesting gimmick. When you press down on the screen, it is suppose to have a little bit of give in it that gives you tactile feedback much like you would get if you where pressing a mouse button or typing on a keyboard. We’ll get back to you on that when the device is in wide distribution to figure out if this feature is a boon or a bust.

At this time, RIM has not announced a release date or pricing for the Storm with or without new service contracts with Verizon or Vodafone.

For more details about the new BlackBerry Storm, visit the RIM BlackBerry Storm website.

New Name, Expanding Smartphone Coverage

Today is both an ending and a beginning. After long and careful deliberation, it is time to say goodbye to “Foleo Fanatics.” In the year since Palm canceled the Foleo Mobile Companion it has become increasingly evident that the Foleo, in it’s original configuration and name, will never be released.

The Foleo unit that I was able to use, even for a short while, showed amazing potential and I’m still looking for something to replace it.

However, the time has come to look beyond the Foleo and, starting today, Foleo Fanatics has become Smartphone Fanatics.

Smartphone Fanatics will continue where Foleo Fanatics has left off, providing you with the same great coverage of the Palm user community. We also plan on expanding our coverage beyond Palm’s products. Moving forward, look for increasing coverage of Windows Mobile devices from great vendors like High Tech Computng (HTC). We will also be covering the exciting new BlackBerry smartphones coming out of Research In Motion (RIM). And, lastly, we also plan to cover everybody’s favorite entertainment device, the Apple iPhone.

Welcome to Smartphone Fanatics!

Alan Grassia
Editor, SmartphoneFanatics.com

Agendus Comes to BlackBerry

iambic, earlier today, has introduced Agendus for BlackBerry smartphones. Of their new BlackBerry product, iambic writes:

“Enthusiastically embraced by Palm OS and Windows Mobile users, Agendus has been especially tailored to work seamlessly on BlackBerry devices such as the BlackBerry Bold, KickStart, Perl and Curve. Our solution ties together the most frequently used applications on your phone (Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks) so you get more things done using fewer (and, in most cases, half) the button presses. Efficiency made easy!”

Agendus for BlackBerry 1.0 comes in two pricing models: $19.95 for the BlackBerry only application and $39.95 for the BlackBerry/Windows desktop bundle.

For more details on the new edition of Agendus, including the link for the demo download, visit the iambic website.

Astraware Releases Platypus for BlackBerry

Today, Astraware and Idigicon have released a version of Platypus for BlackBerry smartphones. Earlier this year, Astraware released a version of Platypus for Palm OS and Windows Mobile/PocketPC smartphones and PDAs.

For this latest edition, Astraware has optimized the game controls to support trackball on recent BlackBerry devices, which includes the BlackBerry Pearl, Curve, and the new BlackBerry Bold. Astraware has also announced support for Symbian S60 and UIQ smartphones.

Read the Foleo Fanatics review of Platypus

“Following a release for Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) devices earlier this year, Astraware(R) and Idigicon are excited to announce the release of Platypus
for 3 more smartphone platforms. The squishiest shoot-em-up ever is now available for S60(R), UIQ(R) and BlackBerry(R) smartphones worldwide, including the new BlackBerry Bold!”

Based on the cult classic for PC and Mac, Platypus is a fast, frantic and fun side-scrolling arcade shooter with a difference – the entire game is made from clay!”

For more information, visit http://www.astraware.com/platypus. Club Astraware members can get a substantial discount off all versions of Platypus for a limited time. Simply login here: http://www.astraware.com/club to check out the special price!