Analyst firm Jeffries & Co. has issued a note with lots of interesting (if dubious) information following the cancellation of the refresh on the BlackBerry Storm. For one, they claim that the next Storm (pictured above from Vietnam) will be landing at the end of November without SurePress. Secondly, the note claims that a Storm following that one will be launched in the first half of 2011, bearing a profile slimmer than an iPhone and running QNX’s Neutrino operating system, which was debuted on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Speaking of which, the note says that the 3G/4G version promised by RIM is also scheduled for the second half of 2011.
From what we have heard already, the next BlackBerry Storm will have a 3.7″ display, support augmented reality, and likely have a 5 megapixel camera and run OS 6. There’s a distinct possibility that a mobile hotspot function would make the cut since it was slated for the 9570, but aside from that, specifics are hazy.
Taken individually, any of these rumours might seem plausible, but it takes a beach-worth of grains of salt to take them all at once, especially without any photographic evidence. An end of November launch date seems awfully soon, especially since RIM canceled the 9570, which would have launched within that timeframe; it seems unlikely to me that the Storm 3 was making such good progress that they could get it out the door before (or close enough to) the scheduled launch of the Storm refresh. It wasn’t hugely surprising that RIM didn’t include SurePress on the Torch’s touchscreen, since it was a big enough deal that they wouldn’t want to take any chances, but is it possible that RIM has well and truly killed off their clicking touchscreen technology? The Storm family is where SurePress was born, and from all previous indications, RIM has had no intention of letting it go, which is no surprise given how much work they’ve poured into it. A super-slim Storm running Neutrino sounds sweet, (especially if it has LTE) and certainly feasible within the next year, but it’s really too far away to be reliably predicting something like that.
What do you guys think – is a new Storm before the holidays likely to happen?