I picked up a Blackberry Torch earlier this week at the Canadian launch party. I like it. A touchscreen with a slideout keyboard as a safety net for those uncomfortable with the touch-typing.
Which leads me down a general theme – I wonder: Is RIM hedging its Blackberry bets to extinction?
By offering so many different models and user interfaces for the Blackberry, I wonder if RIM has created too fractured a marketplace for itself – is RIM playing it too safe for its own good?
Let’s look at the current product line-up: there is the new Torch with the touch screen interface, but a slide-out full keyboard; the Bold and Curve with full keyboards; the Pearl with its implicit requirement for your friends to grant you creative license to accommodate your spelling; the Tour; the Storm. All of these are current models.
Perhaps RIM’s Canadian-ness makes it want to have something for everyone (we Canadians don’t like to annoy anyone). But, I wonder if this keeps it from placing bigger bets in redefining a unique user interface, the way that Apple has unified its UI across all of its platforms.
On one hand, different people like different interfaces; but on the other hand, trying to have something for everyone may be keeping RIM from returning to the leadership that Wall Street is looking for.
Still, the Blackberry Torch should appeal to youths who want a touch interface but like a real keyboard for their messaging. Also, I am told by my youth advisors that the integrated social networking app is a real winner.
What are you thoughts?
And as Blackberry launches the Torch across Canada this week, we wonder what’s next? Will we see a Blackberry Pad device in time for Christmas, perhaps as early as next week, as written up by WSJ?