Just a week or so after RIM’s CEO confirmed that the company is working on a successor to its BlackBerry Storm, several images of the phone have leaked. It looks complete, one might say almost ready for launch, and borrows heavily from the original’s design.
It’s tempting to say that RIM is taking a leaf out of Apple’s design book. Apple kept much of its original design when moving from the iPhone to iPhone 3G, mainly tweaking the innards and slimming down the profile. And while these leaks don’t tell us anything about the hardware inside the Storm 2, it looks like a polished-up and skinnier version of the original Storm. It has the same 3.2-megapixel camera, unlike the 5-megapixels touted in several rumors. The control buttons on the front do seem to have swapped from physical ones to touch-screen ones.
Why is this phone so important? The Storm was RIM’s first all-touchscreen phone, and while moderately successful it was plagued with bad reviews and numerous customer gripes about bugs and failures. Even though the more traditional 8300-series of BlackBerrys outsold the iPhone in the early part of this year, that could be due to a dip in iPhone sales caused by expectation of the upcoming design revision–going forward it’ll be the Storm 2 that’s competing with the Palm Pre and the iPhone 2009. Along with Google and its Android platform, these phones are defining the cutting edge of smartphone design–RIM needs the Storm 2 to be a success in order to keep pace.
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