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Blackberry to launch iPhone competitor?

Research in Motion, the maker of Blackberry smartphones, is rumoured to be working on a touchscreen version of its Blackberry phone.

Expected to be released in Q1 2008, the Blackberry 9000 will come without a proper keyboard and will target consumer market rather than the corporate segment where Blackberry is already a popular choice.

In an article published by Unstrung (opens in new tab), Carmi Levy, an analyst at AR communications Ltd describes the 9000-series as the "future of the Blackberry Franchise".

Blackberry does not offer any touchscreen devices, relying instead on a trusted dual function keyboard for its Blackberry Pearl consumer phones (opens in new tab).

A rival to Blackberry, Palm, has released a smartphone called Centro that actually looks like a Blackberry with a low price (GBP 50 on a contract), with a touchscreen, full QWERTY keyboard and camera.

Amongst expected features to come with the Centro are 3G functionality, GPS location tracking as well as multi megapixels digital camera.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.