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BlackBerry Bold stands as 3G iPhone's chief rival

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
With the announcement of the first 3G BlackBerry compatible with the same high-speed networks as the upcoming 3G iPhone, Research in Motion has set itself up for what will likely be the defining smartphone battle of 2008.

To most observers, the BlackBerry Bold's feature list reads as a laundry list of solutions to complaints that could have been equally valid for both RIM's own smartphone line and Apple's iPhone.

Introduced on Monday, the Bold is the first BlackBerry to support third-generation cellular data using the HSDPA (High Speed Download Packet Access) standard shared by most faster international networks, opening the door to faster Internet access with AT&T and other carriers that have been forced to offer 2G speeds to the BlackBerry lineup -- and the iPhone -- until today.

As with Apple's device, the handset also unlocks the potential for BlackBerry use in Japan and Korea, which use a form of 3G for most basic calling that, until now, has been absent from any of RIM's communicators.

Multiple features that have previously been included by themselves in earlier models are now together for the first time. In addition to Wi-Fi, the Bold will have a real GPS receiver for navigation, an easily-reachable memory card slot, and a 2-megapixel camera.

RIM is also making concessions to the increasing numbers of home users opting for its phones: the Bold will pack 1GB of built-in memory and even syncs with iTunes courtesy of a utility that mediates between the Apple software and the phone itself.

With the exception of removable storage, analyst forecasts and hidden mentions in beta code suggest Apple's hardware will be a near match, down to the use of a fast, 600-plus MHz processor.

What's most telling, however, is the visual redesign of the Bold. The new phone is a conspicuous break from RIM's designs for the 8800, Curve, and Pearl. The glossy black face, rounded body, and (simulated) chrome trim will be more than slightly familiar to iPhone fans -- and may be more similar than expected, if reports of a black plastic backing to the 3G iPhone prove accurate.



The phones will even share the same display resolution at 480x320, although the Bold's QWERTY keyboard in place of a touchscreen dictates a smaller LCD with a landscape aspect ratio.

These design choices, combined with the choice of networks, will make competition all but inevitable between the Bold and its Apple-created challenger. AT&T has already confirmed that it will carry the Bold and expects to launch the 3G BlackBerry during the summer, likely arriving within weeks of the new iPhone.

One rumor has also alluded to AT&T deliberately delaying the launch of the BlackBerry to July or later to avoid a potential clash between the introductions of the two high-profile devices. Most observers now expect Apple to ship its refresh in late June.

Industry watchers note, however, that RIM is likely to face more than just a physically similar platform no matter when the Bold appears. The advent of Apple's iPhone 2.0 software and the option of third-party native apps is understood to potentially pull customers away from BlackBerries who might otherwise have needed one for work.

Potentially showing its awareness of this, Canada-based RIM has even announced a similar venture capital pool, the $150 million BlackBerry Partners Fund, to invest in newcomers developing third-party software. It closely shadows Apple's own attempt to kindle development with its $100 million iFund for iPhone coders.
post #2 of 80
For the rest of your lives, you Blackberry users and RIM employees will get to look back at the best blackberry phone ever made, and resign yourselves to the fact that its a weak-ass iPhone ripoff.

They didn't even TRY to hide it.

Look at it.

Its an iPhone with QWERTY. But not as cool, useful, or pleasing the touch....
post #3 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by echosonic View Post

For the rest of your lives, you Blackberry users and RIM employees will get to look back at the best blackberry phone ever made, and resign yourselves to the fact that its a weak-ass iPhone ripoff.

They didn't even TRY to hide it.

Look at it.

Its an iPhone with QWERTY. But not as cool, useful, or pleasing the touch....

I agree.. I like to try to act completely objective, but I just can't when every company just blatantly rips off the styling of the iPhone. At least they didn't make it one big slate with no keyboard and COMPLETELY rip-off the iPhone like the Asian manufacturers. It is funny though that they redesigned the whole interface to be more sleek and modern though, in addition to copying the iPhones ~620mhz processor and 480x320 screen. without a 3.5" screen, however, who would want to even dare use that for web browsing or watching video. The iPhone is already at the very bottom of screen size that is still usable.
post #4 of 80
What they never show is the interface beyond the home screen, which looks cramped and difficult to read.

Goodness knows what this is like to develop for I see no Xcode and IB. Everything about the software stack looks primitive compared to the very high bar set by Apple.



Compare and contrast with iPhone's Google Maps client.
post #5 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by echosonic View Post

For the rest of your lives, you Blackberry users and RIM employees will get to look back at the best blackberry phone ever made, and resign yourselves to the fact that its a weak-ass iPhone ripoff.

I don't agree. They, like all the others, are clearly playing catchup to Apple's UI and web browsing capabilities, but they are not ripping the iPhone off. All this amounts toand something I've been saying since day one of the iPhone premieris that the cell phone industry is changing for the better because of Apple's foray into this market.

I'm seeing a few higher end phones being advertised with higher resolution screens than the iPhone on a 480x240 on a 3.5" diagonal. Being a phone designed for video, I expect the iPhone to have a much higher resolution display.
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post #6 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

I agree.. I like to try to act completely objective, but I just can't when every company just blatantly rips off the styling of the iPhone. At least they didn't make it one big slate with no keyboard and COMPLETELY rip-off the iPhone like the Asian manufacturers. It is funny though that they redesigned the whole interface to be more sleek and modern though, in addition to copying the iPhones ~620mhz processor and 480x320 screen. without a 3.5" screen, however, who would want to even dare use that for web browsing or watching video. The iPhone is already at the very bottom of screen size that is still usable.

I love the Iphone but the Iphone was a copy of LG's Prada. It's just the Prada was never sold here.
post #7 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oka's77 View Post

I love the Iphone but the Iphone was a copy of LG's Prada. It's just the Prada was never sold here.

Are you Serious????? there's got to be about 400 of them on ebay US is just that people don't want it, the LG Prada is also free on europe & people still did not want it.
post #8 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oka's77 View Post

I love the Iphone but the Iphone was a copy of LG's Prada. It's just the Prada was never sold here.


Mmm, I don't think so. I recall Apple unveiling the iPhone in Jan '07, and the Prada introduced outside the US at approximately the same time frame, maybe a little before. No way Apple copied LG, as 1) there was no time to copy the Prada, assuming the Prada was introduced first, and 2) the iPhone was in development for over two years. I'm pretty sure they were researching full-screen, multi-touch capable phones long before Prada was conceived.
post #9 of 80
wooo i like this phone.

seriously, if blackberrys could run OSX i'd never even bother with an iphone. i dont need the features the iphone offers, and i cant stand texting on it. that is the edge the blackberry gets with me over the iphone-typing on it is flawless.
post #10 of 80
The BB bold is a really nice unit but the Minute Rim get's hit with another Blackout & only iphone users remain up & running, they're going to hit a brick wall at 100MPH, remember how Rim works,
Exhange server/messanger server/NOC/finally your BB unit, iPhone works directly with exchange nothing in between
post #11 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsteeno View Post

Mmm, I don't think so. I recall Apple unveiling the iPhone in Jan '07, and the Prada introduced outside the US at approximately the same time frame, maybe a little before. No way Apple copied LG, as 1) there was no time to copy the Prada, assuming the Prada was introduced first, and 2) the iPhone was in development for over two years. I'm pretty sure they were researching full-screen, multi-touch capable phones long before Prada was conceived.

*cough*

Ericsson R380

http://www.gsmarena.com/ericsson_r380-pictures-195.php

There were plenty of touchscreen phones before the iPhone and Prada.
post #12 of 80
There will continue to be room in the marketplace for both competitors, just like MS and Apple. No one company has a one-size-fits-all solution.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #13 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsteeno View Post

Mmm, I don't think so. I recall Apple unveiling the iPhone in Jan '07, and the Prada introduced outside the US at approximately the same time frame, maybe a little before. No way Apple copied LG, as 1) there was no time to copy the Prada, assuming the Prada was introduced first, and 2) the iPhone was in development for over two years. I'm pretty sure they were researching full-screen, multi-touch capable phones long before Prada was conceived.

People use the term "copy" in the same hyperbolic way they use "x-killer" (e.g.: Zune was referred to as an iPod killer) to describe an upcoming product that is created to directly compete with a current product.
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post #14 of 80
Congratulations Apple. RIM has thrown in the towel.

With a large and clumsy device, too many buttons, and a tiny screen, the contest is over.

Apple wins game, set, and match.
post #15 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

*cough*

Ericsson R380

http://www.gsmarena.com/ericsson_r380-pictures-195.php

There were plenty of touchscreen phones before the iPhone and Prada.

I never implied that there were not touch screen phones before the iPhone. My comment was in regards to the LG - Apple link, stating that Apple was researching touch capability and not ripping off LG. The current (at the time) and previous touch-based phones were surely a good starting point for their research.
post #16 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesmall View Post

Congratulations Apple. RIM has thrown in the towel.

With a large and clumsy device, too many buttons, and a tiny screen, the contest is over.

Apple wins game, set, and match.

There are no towels being thrown here. This is just proof from RiM that the iPhone is a major competitor that should not be ignored. As SpamSandwich states, there is plenty of room for different devices for different people doing different tasks.

If Apple wasn't so obsessed with having a svelte product line they would take a much larger marketshare with BB -like devices, but I can't see Apple doing that.
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post #17 of 80
I agree with you Solipsism. The "Bold" is a great step forward. At last, one of the other phone manufacturers is starting to get the idea. Build good looking and functional devices. It most definitely is not an iPhone rip-off. Instead RIM have focused on customer wants - taking into account the limits of the operating system they have to work with.

The big question will be "How usable is it?". Good luck to RIM!
post #18 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There will continue to be room in the marketplace for both competitors, just like MS and Apple. No one company has a one-size-fits-all solution.

I agree..

Many people really do like to feel their keys as they type and don't watch movies on their cellphone. This looks like a great solution for those people as it looks like the Bold has some of the iPhone sexiness with the functionality they may want/need. For the rest of us, there is the iPhone. I traded in my Blackberry for the iPhone when it came and I do not regret it. That said, the Blackberry was a really nice phone and this looks to improve upon that. Nice job RIM.

Marcus T. Cicero
post #19 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsteeno View Post

I never implied that there were not touch screen phones before the iPhone. My comment was in regards to the LG - Apple link, stating that Apple was researching touch capability and not ripping off LG. The current (at the time) and previous touch-based phones were surely a good starting point for their research.

If I recal correctly, the LG Prada was the first consumer phone to have capacitance touch, though I don't think it had the capabilities for multi-touch. Also I think it was the first cell phone with minimalistic physical buttons and a "non-clunky" UI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieRoss View Post

At last, one of the other phone manufacturers is starting to get the idea. Build good looking and functional devices. It most definitely is not an iPhone rip-off. Instead RIM have focused on customer wants - taking into account the limits of the operating system they have to work with.

The big question will be "How usable is it?". Good luck to RIM!

This past their was news of Nokia admitting that it needs better software. I'm unable to find this article, but this one from January has Nokia buying a software company for that very purpose. No matter how you slice it, this is all good news for iPhone, Blackberry and Nokia phone users.
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post #20 of 80
The point is, it's way easier for Apple to add these little trinkets to the iPhone, ie - bigger camera, GPS chip etc, (from a development point of view it's not a major hassle) then it is for Apple's competitors to come up with an OS like OS-X (now that friends, is the task of the century) or a quality multitouch interface. You don't come up with that sort of stuff overnight or over a year, or over 10 years. There are still no G1 iPhone killers, and iPhone 2 is just around the corner. Watching how Apple have entered this market is like poetry in motion.
post #21 of 80
I think the key difference between the two smartphone makers will be the OS.

RIM is essentially asking it's developers to work within a user interface (physical keyboard) that have existed for years. Limitation and thinking inside the box.

Apple however, has moved on with future applications that take advantage of touch screen technology. It just has so much more potential and a whole generation ahead of the RIM OS.
post #22 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There will continue to be room in the marketplace for both competitors, just like MS and Apple. No one company has a one-size-fits-all solution.

I couldn't disagree more. RIM is dead in the water. Will most likely be bought by MS some time in the future.

I've had a blackberry for nearly 5 years. Beyond a prettier screen, that STUPID fucking "pearl" roller, NOTHING has changed. In 5 YEARS. Their only feature is PUSH email. That's it, nothing else. They don't have the software or developer base to even come close to being able to compete with the iPhone.

Sure they did well, when competing against a bunch of other 3rd rate companies like Samsung and Motorola - but they don't have a snowballs chance in hell to compete with Apple. Their last holdout is corporations who have invested heavily in their proprietary push email service.
post #23 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

I couldn't disagree more. RIM is dead in the water. Will most likely be bought by MS some time in the future.

I've had a blackberry for nearly 5 years. Beyond a prettier screen, that STUPID fucking "pearl" roller, NOTHING has changed. In 5 YEARS. Their only feature is PUSH email. That's it, nothing else. They don't have the software or developer base to even come close to being able to compete with the iPhone.

Sure they did well, when competing against a bunch of other 3rd rate companies like Samsung and Motorola - but they don't have a snowballs chance in hell to compete with Apple. Their last holdout is corporations who have invested heavily in their proprietary push email service.

But that before the iPhone upstaged everyone's UI and made large, high res, multi-touch, capacitance screens, large flash capacities, motion sensors, and accelerometers seem like they should be the norm rather than the exception.

RiM is far from "dead" in any aspectand you can find BB users as fervent about their phones are iPhone users arethough will be losing marketshare this year with the Exchange support coming to mOS X v2.0. They're putting a $150M incentive for new apps and I'm sure they will hiring a large number of software engineers or buying a firm like Nokia did to step up their game

As for MS buying RiM, I think they would if they could, but a market valuation of $80 Billion makes that tough.
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post #24 of 80
This guber of a phone will appeal to hard-core Blackberry fans, but it's not going to prevent a bunch of Blackberry defections to the iPhone, and it's certainly not going to win RIM any more marketshare now that Apple is in the game.

Really, who thinks the Bold is going to capture the public's imagination like the iPhone has? How many regular, non-business users are going to say to themselves, "I want that Blackberry with the tiny screen and cramped keyboard, which tacked on music and movies and photos as an after-thought!"? It's just not going to happen.

On the other hand, I bet Apple will be able to lure away a bunch of former Blackberry users with iPhone 2.0 (and hardware upgrade to 3G).

RIM, you've been out-maneuvered. You defined your market as "business" (which is fairly limited), and then built a product with that market in mind. Apple created a product aimed at a much broader market (like a PC versus a dedicated word processor), and it's going to start eating away at your narrow position.

I'm not saying that RIM is going be over-run in the near term, but I think it's going to be forced to stick with the limited business market, instead of growing beyond that, which is something that RIM hoped to do.
post #25 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jack View Post

The point is, it's way easier for Apple to add these little trinkets to the iPhone ... then it is for Apple's competitors to come up with an OS like OS-X (now that friends, is the task of the century)

ha indeed. you dont recreate this kind of thing overnight, no matter how many dollars you throw at it. its hard to fathom how any company can possibly compete.
The original creators of the OS, light years head start, the best brains in the business, and almost faultless vision.

Give up

It was obvious 5 years ago that once the processing power of the mobile phone was capable of running proper applications, then everyone else would be left for dust.
I have friends in the business franticly trying to create competing products for large multinationals I cant mention, I have told them they may as well give up, but they wont listen

They always ran second in school exams and lacked imagination, now thousands of shareholders gamble their millions on them. Damned if thats where I'm investing my money. AAPL for the long haul.

And thank god for the anonymity of the internet, else i'd be a few friends down right now.
post #26 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oka's77 View Post

I love the Iphone but the Iphone was a copy of LG's Prada. It's just the Prada was never sold here.

I'd like you to explain how Apple could copy LG when both were announced and displayed within like a week of each other.
post #27 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by echosonic View Post

For the rest of your lives, you Blackberry users and RIM employees will get to look back at the best blackberry phone ever made, and resign yourselves to the fact that its a weak-ass iPhone ripoff.

They didn't even TRY to hide it.

Look at it.

Its an iPhone with QWERTY. But not as cool, useful, or pleasing the touch....

The screen interface is quite far from it. Most UIs that try to copy Apple use icons that look like Apple's, down to the color choices, the icons are quite a bit different here. Some of the icons are clearly inspired by Apple's, but with several icons, they at least do something quite different, as well as going with a different look. I think Google's Android used a square book with brown spiral binding with tan covers "@" on the friont for their address book. This thing's address book looks nothing like Apple's.

I see the similarities, but I really don't think anyone's going to confuse this with the iPhone. The trim color, aspect ratio and curves are different.

But, "Bold"? As much as I'm getting irritated by Apple's lame iCamelCase naming system, Bold sounds like an uppity energy drink that causes intestinal cramping.
post #28 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There are no towels being thrown here.

There is a towel being thrown in. The reaction of competitors to the iPod and the iPhone reminds me of the Pepsi-vs-Coke wars of the 80s. Coke pretty decisively lost that battle by changing Coke to be more Pepsi-like. In doing that, Coke showed everyone how completely lacking in confidence they were about their own product. When a company comes along and imitates the competitor too closely, it sends a weird lack-of-confidence message to the consumer. It says, "We don't believe in what we were doing before so we need to make our new products more like this other well-known product." In the minds of a lot of consumers, the question comes down to "Why shouldn't I just buy the original, then?"

So you bet there is a towel being thrown in. It may not spell the end of RiM, but it's a dumb move to imitate any competitor too closely.
post #29 of 80
There's a reason they didn't name it Beautiful.
post #30 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post

So you bet there is a towel being thrown in. It may not spell the end of RiM, but it's a dumb move to imitate any competitor too closely.

1) I don't see this as an imitation of the iPhonethey even have a QWERTY keyboard on the devicejust that cell phone manufacturers are finally stepping up their game.

2) "To throw in the towel" means to admit defeat. I see no admitting of defeat here, only that they are gearing up for a big fight. ...So begins the phone wars.
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post #31 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

But, "Bold"? As much as I'm getting irritated by Apple's lame iCamelCase naming system, Bold sounds like an uppity energy drink that causes intestinal cramping.

Compared to Italic and Underline it's a great name.
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post #32 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Compared to Italic and Underline it's a great name.

post #33 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

Sure they did well, when competing against a bunch of other 3rd rate companies like Samsung and Motorola - but they don't have a snowballs chance in hell to compete with Apple. Their last holdout is corporations who have invested heavily in their proprietary push email service.

I wouldn't count them out that quickly. For nine months out of the last fiscal year, despite competing against the iPhone for 3/4ths of the year, they still doubled their revenue and profits over the previous year.
post #34 of 80
This is great from an innovation point of view. We have RIM going first, Apple announcing in June and Palm's new device coming late in '08.

Best of all, it doesn't matter who wins this fight. Microsoft loses in every scenario.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #35 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

...only that they are gearing up for a big fight. ...So begins the phone wars.

I love the Star Wars reference. I am such a geek...
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post #36 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I wouldn't count them out that quickly. For nine months out of the last fiscal year, despite competing against the iPhone for 3/4ths of the year, they still doubled their revenue and profits over the previous year.

Over the last 2 years RiM's stock has gone from $20 to the $140 it is now, though it was at $140 per share 6 months ago before the drop. That is a 600% increase compared to Apple's 300% and Nokia' 100% increase over the same time frame.
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post #37 of 80
I'm personally loving this. Nothing is better than some healthy competition, and the Blackberry Bold looks like a decent rival for the iphone. RIM has lots of fight in them.

Now to see what Cupertino has up its sleeve.

RIM and Apple are going to double their market share, together. There are a lot of handsets out there, and very few of them are smart phones. Only RIM and Apple seem to have any idea at all what there doing, so even if RIM can't make a better phone than Apple, as long as they make a decent one, the market shift towards smartphones will benefit them because they still hit all four carriers.
post #38 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There will continue to be room in the marketplace for both competitors, just like MS and Apple. No one company has a one-size-fits-all solution.

I tend to agree with that. the iphone vs. blackberry wars are as tediously boring as the osx/windows battles. there are plenty of crackberry addicts that would never dream of touching an iphone, and as long as they have their chiclet keyboards, they are going to be happy.

i'm sure it's not a coincidence that the bold's styling is very similar to the iphone's, but that just reinforces the perception that apple is a leader when it comes to style. i'm sure mr. jobs is flattered and a healthy competition keeps everybody on their toes.

i for one don't think that RIM is going to roll over dead any time soon, and in the long run that is good news for all of us. microsoft however has something to worry about... you don't hear a lot of hype about their offerings in the mobile phone business.
post #39 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

BlackBerry Bold stands as 3G iPhone's chief rival

No, it doesn't...
post #40 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

*cough*

Ericsson R380

http://www.gsmarena.com/ericsson_r380-pictures-195.php

There were plenty of touchscreen phones before the iPhone and Prada.

lets go back five years earlier, to 1995, shall we?

http://www.msu.edu/~luckie/gallery/marco.htm
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