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Blackberry Storm 2 Officially Confirmed By RIM's CEO

The next version of RIM's first full touchscreen Blackberry, the Storm, is set to debut later this year, probably in September, according to a number of sources in the United States.

Jim Balsillie, CEO of RIM, confirmed that the follow-up smartphone will have Wi-Fi capabilities and a 5-megapixel camera complete with a flash which will likely be the entry level resolution by the time the device is launched.

Less than 50 percent of RIM's current customers are actually corporate firms, the ones that use Blackberry's proprietary Push Mail services the most. The Storm 2 could well spearhead RIM's assault on the consumer market.

The Storm is available on sale in the UK through Vodafone and although it has been very much pushed aside by the iPhone, Nokia 5800 and the Android G1, the smartphone has been quite successful in the US where it ranks third in the list of top selling phones.

Blackberry's Curve has already surpassed Apple's iPhone in terms of sales figures but is likely to be trailing the computer manufacturer when it comes to revenue generated.

It is also interesting to note that the suggested release date of the Storm 2, in September, coincides with the lucrative back to school period and comes three months after the expected launch date of the iPhone 2009. Three months should be more than enough for RIM to make any adjustments to the Storm 2 platform.

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Our Comments

The first Storm has been mildly popular in the UK due in part to the negative reactions from a number of high profile celebrities including Stephen Fry who single-handedly destroyed the Storm's reputation at launch. But RIM is likely to have learnt a lot from its initial misfortunes. We strongly believe that Storm 2 will be a very strong competitor to the iPhone when it is launched.

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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.