In fact after seeing the new Q3 smartphones shipments report where although both RIM and Apple have catch up with Nokia (although the recent launch of the E71 should help Nokia dramatically to gain some traction on this segment), Apple have taken over the number 2 spot, I was certainly curious to see if RIM was going to create a perfect Storm as one of its new device names indicates
Another point to make is that RIM has made 2 interesting moves with the Storm and the Bold on its last and probably most important launch since the Pearl
Why 2 moves? Well on my opinion the Bold is a defensive move into RIM's core market the Corporate Segment, while the Storm is attacking a growing and very attractive market as the high/medium end residential, which RIM initial entry with the Pearl was very successful but were Apple with the iPhone has captured a leadership position (probably also creating a SuperSmartPhone segment that did not exist before)
In a way the Bold was an initial disappointment to me. Although taking a look at the initial pictures and prototypes the device did look very nice and attractive in terms of look&feel, once in your hands it is heavies and bulkier than expected. However and once again I was thinking about competing with the iPhone. When thinking further and with more perspective the Bold is an evolution for those corporates who don't want to leave their keyboard but wanted to have some fresher look and with better screen (very good and impressive screen indeed) and browsing (not that much of an improvement, see Bold below)
My take on the Bold: a thumbs up 7.5/10 for the corporate segment
Will I buy it? I find difficult to trade for my Pearl due to the size (although I am thinking of it because of the screen and the browsing) but I am thinking about it
What about the Storm?
The Storm seems to be heading in the right direction if you think about a direct competition with the iPhone and entering the SuperSmartPhone competition
Take a look at The Wired blog for a pure functionalities comparison
It is clear a departure from the Corporate segment even more than the Pearl was, as the keyboard together with the email functionality is what RIM did best
RIM is betting on entering an attractive segment where also a lot of the branding battlefield is going to be today. Also the fact that Blackberry will launch its own application store (and a global fund of 150 Mio USD for companies focusing on application for the RIM OS) is clearly indicating that RIM is serious here.
What about the device? Well the look and feel is more attractive than the Bold. Less bulky, similar weight, size than the iPhone, attractive touchscreen design it does seem as a fierce competitor for the IPHONE
However I think that so far the iPhone still wins because of 3 areas (please note that I have myself not use the Storm yet but talked to several new users which have also used the iPhone): software integration is much polished on the iPhone, Web browsing has not really improved as it should from previous RIM models and the Storm does not have WiFI (on my opinion a Must on the SuperSmartPhone category)
My take on the Storm: A good attempt on RIM to enter the battlefield, 6/10
Will I buy it? No I will wait 4/6 months for new software releases and for them to launch their apps store