BlackBerry: this is not an iPhone killer

01May08

BlackBerry Kickstart

The global smartphone industry today has two extremes. On one side, we see the fanatical corporate email-aholic type, the BlackBerry; and on the other side, a more easy-going, design-conscious being in the iPhone.

However whilst these two iconic handsets appeal to very different people, they both control a very reasonable share of the market that they perform in. RIM’s BlackBerry can and will cater for those who require a reliable, large handset for bashing out long emails to their subordinates; and Apple’s iPhone appeals to what is often a younger, connected, but still professional audience who want to combine their office-related duties with a lifestyle device.

However, as we’ve seen from several ‘rumours’ from around the (reliable) interwebs lately — leaked from the Canadian heart of RIM — is that the BlackBerry team want an iPhone killer.

And today, the Boy Genius Report broke the story, with remarkably clear images, of BlackBerry’s new Kickstart clamshell — flip — phone.

And while little is known about the Kickstart at the moment, it certainly screams a combination of Pearl, a dash of original Motorola RAZR, with a sprinkling of Nokia N95 (thickness!).

Is this RIM’s iPhone killer? Certainly, it might break a bit more ice with semi-professionals as the BlackBerry Pearl did, but there is no way that the Kickstart will win over iPhone customers. No way. A Now, I love BlackBerry: the best semi-professional phone I have ever used was a Pearl 8120 from BlackBerry — but this model simply can’t outdo the iPhone on looks, music integration, and recognition.

It’s fair enough, though, that RIM would go to such an extreme as to defy the classic BlackBerry form factor — we’ve seen the iPhone claim more than 25% of the US smartphone market in less than a year, which is an amazing feat. RIM wants to claim back their lost share; however, I think that today’s status quo, as previously detailed — with RIM providing handsets for the emailers, and Apple providing for the iPodders — should be left untouched.

We’ll definitely have a look at the Kickstart at its release… if this ‘corporate fiasco’ turns out to be a production model.

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