“Research in Motion (R.I.M.), the company that brought us the BlackBerry, has been on a roll lately. For a couple of years now, it’s delivered a series of gorgeous, functional, supremely reliable smartphones that, to this day, outsell even the much-adored iPhone.
Here’s a great example of the intelligence that drives R.I.M.: The phones all have simple, memorable, logical names instead of incomprehensible model numbers. There’s the BlackBerry Pearl (with a translucent trackball). The BlackBerry Flip (with a folding design). The BlackBerry Bold (with a stunning design and faux-leather back).
Well, there’s a new one, just out ($200 after rebate, with two-year Verizon contract), officially called the BlackBerry Storm.
But I’ve got a better name for it: the BlackBerry Dud.
The first sign of trouble was the concept: a touch-screen BlackBerry. That’s right — in its zeal to cash in on some of that iPhone touch-screen mania, R.I.M. has created a BlackBerry without a physical keyboard.
Hello? Isn’t the thumb keyboard the defining feature of a BlackBerry? A BlackBerry without a keyboard is like an iPod without a scroll wheel. A Prius with terrible mileage. Cracker Jack without a prize inside.”
I have to agree with Mr. Pogue’s assessment of the missing keyboard. I just recently purchased a BlackBerry Curve, the Bold isn’t available on Sprint yet, and the main feature for me was the keyboard. (And the fact that it is smaller and lighter than my Palm Treo 755p.)