Verizon to get it first in the U.S.
Last modified on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 07:33
We have previously told you about the upcoming BlackBerry Thunder from RIM. More details seem to be coming to light as Apple introduced the iPhone 2 yesterday. It now has become clearer that with the announcement of the new iPhone pricing that carriers that don’t have iPhone are going to need something to compete with Apple and the BlackBerry Thunder, as it looks to be the best of what is on the horizon.
The BlackBerry Thunder is said to be known as the 9500, and will be exclusive to Verizon in the U.S. This is very important to Verizon who has been knocked along with Sprint as the carriers that are always the slowest to embrace new phones and technology. Verizon is banking that the Thunder will be able to compete with the iPhone on many levels by leveraging the BlackBerry technology that is absent from the iPhone. For those outside of the U.S., Vodafone will have the exclusive for the Thunder in Europe.
As most BlackBerry users know, version 4.x of the BlackBerry OS is very mature and supports many of the missing features and applications that are not currently supported by iPhone 2. While the Thunder will offer the same type of touch screen technology that the iPhone does, it will still offer the standard four keys that are common to BlackBerry products.
According to our sources, RIM is banking heavily on the Thunder being able to capture much of the older audience that is already using a BlackBerry and likes it, but is very interested in the touch screen and razzle dazzle that the iPhone 2 offers. Many sources are telling us that the Thunder will be a GSM/CDMA combo device, supporting both standards in one phone. We still believe that the Thunder is on track to be launched early in the 3rd quarter of this year. This is not good news for Apple who announced that the iPhone 2 had slipped to mid-July; and the slip, of course, will mean fewer iPhones it will be able to sell before the Thunder is launched.