Slim Entry-Level BlackBerry Slider on the Way?

Following up on the RIM’s first slider, the BlackBerry Torch 9800, rumour has it the next one will be smaller and cheaper. The reduced size suggests that such a device would have a condensed keyboard like the Pearl series, but that’s just fun with Photoshop at this point. Exactly how much cheaper we’re talking is open to interpretation, but it would have to be a significant drop in price if the top-end Torch is selling for $99 on contract.

The BlackBerry Curve 9300 is the forerunner of RIM’s current entry-level devices, and as such it wouldn’t be surprising to see this rumoured phone with the same QVGA display and 2 megapixel fixed-focus camera without flash. It’s likely they would ditch the touch capabilities and opt for a trackpad-only experience to save on costs. No doubt a smaller, lower-resolution display would help on that front too. Despite the lower-grade specs, odds are good that if this new slider does ever see the light of day, it’ll launch with OS 6, complete with WebKit browser, universal search, and other UI improvements over the old platform.

As for the style, another slider makes sense for RIM, as they’ve been trying to spread the BlackBerry experience to as many form factors as possible since they launched the original Pearl. The Style 9670 shows that they’re still interested in flip phones (even if us among the technorati aren’t), and the Torch kicked off their efforts with sliders. The Storm series has taken the backburner for RIM’s touchscreen slate efforts, but that’ll change soon enough. The only kind of phone RIM hasn’t done yet is a horizontal slider, which remains popular among Android handsets these days.

What do you guys think – could RIM use a Pearl-sized slider that’s as cheap as the Curve series?

[via BBLeaks]

  • YES please! Don’t encourage taking away the fancier features though. Why should it have anything less than the traditional Pearl? I switched from Pearl to iPhone and have hated my decision ever since. I was considering the Torch, but I might hold out to see what’s in store. (I hate the Bold-like keyboard on the Torch, and miss the Pearl keyboard. That would be the best of both worlds for me!)

  • Anon

    It could be another device targeted towards the prepaid, PAYGO crowd that aren’t buying phones on subsidies from carriers. Bloomberg had an article today about RIM’s growth in Latin America where BBM is being used to supplant voice calling that can run 40 cents a minute.

    While it would be nice to see RIM enter the high-end shootout, they are focused on the future of the company and are building customer loyalty in the areas outside the postpaid market(which makes up the minority of wireless users).

  • Anonymous

    In my opinion, the BB 9800 is so great! i don’t like the slider one. and I love BB 9800, i love the BlackBerry? 6 and a large screen, I love the full-featured music player that allows me to see full album art and track listings in portrait or landscape. I love the 5 MP camera with flash, continuous auto-focus and image stabilization, plus 11 photo modes and video recording, and I also download a free blackberry video converter! they are perfect!

    • Swaroop

      can u suggest me whether can i go with this BB 9800 in INDIA … and can u tell the price of this smartphone in US

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