A quick glimpse into Bell’s BlackBerry lineup for the summer has provided some launch windows for Canadians to look forward to. Despite RIM saying they would be missing the back-to-school rush, Bell is listing a late August launch for the Torch 9810, Bold 9900, “Monaco” 9860, and Curve 9360. Bell won’t be alone in launching RIM’s upcoming OS 7 devices; we’ve seen signs that Telus will be offering the BlackBerry 9860 and Bold 9900 as well. Rogers likely won’t be left out of the party, though we’ve seen no concrete signs of new BlackBerry smartphones headed their way.
These four devices constitute RIM’s stepping stone to full QNX-powered smartphones; there have even been whispers that anything running OS 7 will be able to be upgraded to the same type of OS as on the PlayBook tablet, though RIM has said we’ll need to wait for multi-core devices for the big leap. The common thread across all of these new phones are higher-resolution screens, faster processors, a new graphics rendering engine, near-field communications, augmented reality thanks to a magnetic compass, and mobile Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities. At least on paper, most of these changes will bring BlackBerry up to snuff with the competition, but the OS is still more or less the same experience, and most folks (especially investors) are crying out for dramatic change. Even with the leap to QNX, I don’t think we’ll see more than a performance improvement (however significant it may be).
In any case, are there any Canadians in the house who are perfectly happy with BlackBerry and interested in these new devices, or has Android won you over for your next phone?