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RIM Takes on iPhone with New BlackBerry
Wednesday, July 18th, 2007 at 9:20 AM - by
RIM's new BlackBerry 8820 is the company's first smartphone with Wi-FI built in -- a feature that's also found on Apple's iPhone. But the BlackBerry goes one step further by including the ability to switch voice calls between the standard cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
The 8820 also sports a GPS, which is missing from the iPhone, as is the BlackBerry's voice dialing feature. While it appears that Apple won't be able to add GPS functionality to the current model iPhone, it can add in other features like voice dialing through software updates.
Like the iPhone, the BlackBerry includes email support, text messaging, and Web browsing.
The BlackBerry 8820
RIM's latest BlackBerry, although designed to entice new users into the smartphone market, underscores consumer desire for more sophisticated portable communication devices. The real problem for companies like RIM, however, may be in offering buyers products that satisfy business users and average consumers as well.
Frenzied interest in the iPhone both before and after the product was launched showed that consumers not only want all-in-one communication devices, but they also want user friendly interfaces for accessing those features. By and large, consumers have found cell phone interfaces to be cumbersome and confusing, and as a result many leave most phone features untouched.
Apple's combination iPod and smartphone has been seen by many as the first real user-friendly product for this market, and now sets the standard for other manufacturers to hit. How well the 8820 is received by consumers has yet to be seen, but if the initial response to the iPhone is any indication, RIM has its work cut out for it.
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