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Old 09-02-2004, 06:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default [09-02-2004] RIM to launch new e-mail device

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Research In Motion Ltd. may soon be adding a little "Charm" to its line of popular BlackBerry devices.

The Waterloo-based company, the country's highest-valued tech firm behind Nortel Networks Corp., is scheduled to make a major product announcement for the U.S. market next week, leading to speculation that a new consumer device, code-named Charm, will finally be unveiled after months of internal testing.

Rumours of the product first surfaced in May and a picture claiming to be the new device began floating around the Internet several weeks ago.

"A new driver will soon be introduced with the launch of the new mass-market consumer product," GMP Securities analyst Ray Sharma wrote in a recent research note foreshadowing an announcement.

The BlackBerry is widely used by business professionals, politicians and celebrities who enjoy having a mobile phone and instant wireless e-mail in a single product. RIM expects to have about 2 million subscribers by the end of this year ó driven by strong growth in Asia ó after reaching the 1 million milestone in February.

A mass-market device would dramatically accelerate growth, analysts said.

The new Charm device appears to be two-thirds the width of a typical BlackBerry and its design makes it more practical as a mobile phone, similar in many respects to the Treo 600 Smartphone by PalmOne Inc.

The Treo 600 is more stylish and less awkward to hold than the BlackBerry when used as a phone. It's also quad-band, meaning it works over a number of different frequency bands giving it "world" roaming capabilities.

The Treo 600 was called a "BlackBerry-basher" when launched last fall, and Bell Mobility on Tuesday became the second Canadian wireless carrier to begin selling the device. Insiders at RIM are touting Charm as a more affordable "Treo-killer," sources said.

The picture circulating on the Web shows a device with a condensed keypad that's presumably aided by "predictive-texting'' software that guesses words as they are typed. If true, Charm would be the first device from RIM that puts greater emphasis on the phone function and strays from the standard "QWERTY" keyboard format, a hallmark of the BlackBerry.

"I'm guessing it's a low-cost device geared to teenagers," said Barry Richards, a wireless analyst with Paradigm Capital Inc. in Toronto. "It's a whole new form factor."
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...l=969048863851
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Old 09-02-2004, 06:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow! I can hardly wait to see what this will end up looking like!
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Old 09-02-2004, 06:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Awesome. Its about friggen time!
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Old 09-02-2004, 07:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm willing to bet it was RIM that "leaked" the photo of Charm. I suspect that becasue of the new market they plan to target they'll be needing some new marketing tactics...

I'm still amazed that RIM didn't just go ahead and purchase Danger as soon as the first Hiptop was released...
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Old 09-02-2004, 08:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScOObydoo
I'm willing to bet it was RIM that "leaked" the photo of Charm. I suspect that becasue of the new market they plan to target they'll be needing some new marketing tactics...

I'm still amazed that RIM didn't just go ahead and purchase Danger as soon as the first Hiptop was released...
haha, agreed!
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Old 09-06-2004, 01:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I was privileged to test the prototype version a few weeks ago - the picture shown is accurate (production has better quality plastics & screen). It's gonna be a hit, with all the bells, whistles & graphics consumers want. The bluetooth and speaker phone were the real killer for me. Keyboard will take a little getting used to but it's very innovative. They did a nice job porting the OS over, making it prettier and yet anyone who has a BlackBerry will instantly recognize it.
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Old 09-06-2004, 09:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know it's way too early to have an opinion about a device I have never touched or really even seen, but I do wish they would have found a way to keep it at one letter per key. That's it, everything else sounds pretty impressive.
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