BlackBerry Gets All Touchy Feely As iPhone Approaches

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Like the script from a bad B-grade sitcom, it seems some things in the smartphone space are just as easy to predict.

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Take the BlackBerry for example. Its maker, Research In Motion said yesterday that it plans to launch a touch-screen version of the wireless e-mail device in the third quarter as an answer to the Apple iPhone.

To be called the Thunder, it is to be sold exclusively through Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and Vodafone abroad, which makes it an interesting point when you consider that in Australia, Vodafone will be the main stop for iPhone addicts as well.

According to analysts, introducing a touch-screen BlackBerry would put RIM in more direct competition with the iPhone, although the $64 question here is that RIM has always maintained the BlackBerry remains strictly a business tool, whereas it considered the iPhone as more of an entertainment and communication device, so why the jitters now, potentially only weeks away from the iPhone launch?

Could it be that deep down in RIMs little Canadian hearts, they know that having internal channels descriptions is one thing, but how consumers perceive these new products and more importantly, brands, may well be another? I guess we will all have to wait and see.

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