BlackBerry Bold stands as 3G iPhone's chief rival

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    echosonicechosonic Posts: 452member
    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....
  • Reply 2 of 79
    winterspanwinterspan Posts: 605member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 79
    columbuscolumbus Posts: 281member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 79
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 to?and something I've been saying since day one of the iPhone premier?is 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.
  • Reply 5 of 79
    oka's77oka's77 Posts: 1member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 79
    fraklincfraklinc Posts: 244member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 79
    gsteenogsteeno Posts: 52member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 79
    elixirelixir Posts: 782member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 79
    fraklincfraklinc Posts: 244member
    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
  • Reply 10 of 79
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 79
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,187member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 79
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 79
    davesmalldavesmall Posts: 111member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 79
    gsteenogsteeno Posts: 52member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 79
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 79
    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!
  • Reply 17 of 79
    cicerocicero Posts: 20member
    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
  • Reply 18 of 79
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 79
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 79
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    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.
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