The BlackBerry Bold 9800 slider and the 9670 clamshell are rapidly approaching, but later this year tipsters say we’ll see another touchscreen slate from RIM in their Storm family, and another still in 2011. Take this all with a grain of salt scoop of poutine. Yes, you need that much sodium for this rumour, because there’s no precedent and no proof. With that said, the BlackBerry Storm 3 is supposedly in the final stretch of development and should be ready in Q3 or Q4 with a significant update to the SurePress clicking touchscreen mechanism, described as being “perfect”. If the leap is as big as from the original Storm 9530 to the Storm2 9520, it could actually be an outstanding implementation. Aside from that, the Storm 3 will be running the shiny new OS 6.0 and have a focus on media and gaming, evidenced by a version of The Sims preloaded.
Further down the line is the Storm 4, which will arrive in 2011 with a magnetic compass to enable augmented reality apps, a 5 megapixel camera, and an improved GPS chip (maybe that S-GPS we saw on the way to the LG Ally). It does seem a little weird that the 9670 clamshell would launch with a 5 megapixel camera, but the Storm 3 wouldn’t and the Storm 4 following it would. Barring lower-end devices like the Curve 8500 series, all of the top-tier BlackBerrys should pack 5 megapixel cameras from here on in.
Between the other unreleased devices and the BlackBerry Cobalt tablet, it’s hard to even think about 2011 at this point, but with the Pearl family refreshed, the Bold about to get theirs, it only leaves the Storm and the Curve due for a tune-up, and even then, we don’t know how the clamshell will be branded – Curve is still a possibility. Regardless of whether or not these rumours are true, I look forward to seeing what RIM does with SurePress next, given the amount of effort they’ve put in to making it work. SurePress has been a hard sell for folks who are familiar with traditional touchscreens, but it’s still one of the most innovative and unconventional things RIM has done in a long time; it would be really rewarding to see it finally succeed.