RIM unveils BlackBerry Storm 2
The Storm 2 improves the original's touchscreen interface and blows the exclusivity deal with Vodafone out of the water
RIM has taken the covers off the BlackBerry Storm 2, the company's latest attempt to tackle Apple in the consumer smartphone market.
The original BlackBerry Storm was heavily criticised for its 'clickthrough' feature - which effectively turned the entire screen into a giant button - and though it is retained on the Storm 2, RIM has refined it by placing a hinge at each corner of the device, rather the depending on just one at the bottom of the screen.
This should mean that clicking the screen is a much smoother experience. This is aided by the introduction of multitouch controls, and the integration of the receive, end, menu and back buttons into the touchscreen.
Beneath the 3.25in 480 x 360 screen there's 3G, Wi-Fi, 2GB of storage and a 3.2 megapixel camera sporting flash, auto focus, image stabilisation and 2X digital zoom.
Unlike the original BlackBerry Storm, the Storm 2 will not be available exclusively on Vodafone. The operator will be first to market with the smartphone, releasing it on 26 October. Handsets will be free with £35 contracts.
However, other networks are expected to start selling the smartphone after Christmas. There's no confirmation from the companies on why their exclusivity arrangement has been dropped, though speculation suggests it has to do with Vodafone picking up the iPhone.