Yet another "iPhone killer:" Blackberry's Thunder (updated)

Yet another "iPhone killer:" Blackberry's Thunder (updated)

Summary: Did you hear that John Mayer is cheating on Apple again? That's right, Apple's poster boy blogged that he's using a Blackberry Bold.

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Blackberry’s “iPhone killer:” ThunderDid you hear that John Mayer is cheating on Apple again? That's right, Apple's poster boy blogged that he's using a Blackberry Bold. Not really surprising considering that RIM sponsored his 2007 tour. Note to Cupertino: send him a 3G iPhone, like, today

Although RIM hasn't said anything publicly about it, their current worst-kept secret is that they're next-gen handset will have a touchscreen, just like iPhone. Code-named "Thunder" the new handset does away with a hardware keyboard completely and is due to arrive in Q3 2008 according to BGR.

BGR posted a mockup of the device (pictured) which is almost an exact knockoff of the iPhone design. It's all screen and only has four buttons: send, end, BlackBerry and a back key. BGR also claims that it has 3G (EV-DO Rev. C) and GSM HSPA (for international use) and it will launch as a worldwide lifetime exclusive on Verizon and Vodafone.

Electronista is somewhat skeptical:

...the reported launch information also conflicts with some of Verizon's existing and future plans. The company today operates a relatively slower EVDO Revision A service for data and has already announced plans to switch to Long Term Evolution (LTE) for its next-generation wireless network, dropping CDMA entirely in favor of a 700MHz 4G standard that it will likely share with AT&T, Vodafone, and other carriers that today use GSM.

Haven't we seen enough alleged "iPhone killers" already? Yes we have. Witness the long line of wannabees, including: Samsung Instinct, HTC Touch, Verizon Voyager, Nokia Tube, Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1, the list goes on. The one that could give iPhone a run for its money is Google's Android mobile phone platform. I guess that competition is good in the end – it keeps Apple on their toes.

What are your thoughts? Is there a true iPhone killer out there?

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, iPhone, Networking, BlackBerry, Verizon, Wi-Fi

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19 comments
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  • iPod Killers & iPhone Killers?

    As soon as a product gets tagged an
    iSomething Killer it seems to be doomed
    to a lower market share.

    So what do we have with the Thunder?
    After a mountain of posts about how bad
    the iPhone is without a "real" keyboard like
    Blackberrys RIM comes out with an iPhone
    look alike. It's a crazy world when the
    leader in the market starts following the
    newest & smallest entrant.
    Ken_z
  • You mean this is an HTC killer?

    You have quite the nerve to list the HTC Touch as a copy cat of the iPhone considering the HTC Touch is extremely similar in style to many HTC products that came out [b]long[/b] before the iPhone was even a twinkle in Jobs' eye.

    [i]Although RIM hasn?t said anything publicly about it, their current worst-kept secret is that they?re next-gen handset will have a touchscreen, [b]just like iPhone[b].[/i]

    No, it will have a touch screen just like many Palm, HTC, and HP products. The iPhone is quite late to the touchscreen cellphone market... in fact, the iPhone is [b]extremely[/b] late, as is the case with most Apple products. :)
    NonZealot
    • hmm

      Is that why after iPhone was announced in 2007, every other cell-phone company made touch-screen phone??? I wonder who is late...

      I agree that technology is long discovered but Apple made it useful and made it, actually, work.

      All other touch-screen phones are are imitators of iPhone. Its much easier to imitate than to innovate.
      exxtraz
      • Why start in 2007?

        [i]Is that why after iPhone was announced in 2007, every other cell-phone company made touch-screen phone??? I wonder who is late...[/i]

        Here, let me fix that for you:
        [i]Is that why after the HP iPAQ h6315 was announced in 2005, every other cell-phone company made touch-screen phone??? I wonder who is late...[/i]

        I'm only picking one model from the long line of HP touchscreen cellphones. I could just as easily picked a Palm or HTC device and probably gone back even further.

        Apple saw that touch screen cell phones were an opportunity and he copied from a long line of touch screen cell phones that came before. Any touch screen cell phone that came after the iPhone owes more to Palm, HP, HTC, and likely others than they do to anything Apple did. In fact, about the only innovative things Apple did were:
        1. Innovated the complete inability for the user to add programs to their phone.
        2. Innovated the non-removable battery.
        3. Innovated the use of old cell phone data network technologies.
        4. Innovated the use of bricking phones if the user dared to unlock it.

        :)
        NonZealot
        • hmmm

          That's why everyone went out of their way to copy HP's
          machine. Just where are all those iPaq killer articles?
          Wonder where HP got the idea to put a small i at the
          beginning of the name?

          What you fail to grasp is that the actual innovative thing
          that Apple did was to make a touch screen phone that
          actually worked.

          It is easy to look at a feature set and say that Apple doesn't
          have x or doesn't have y or HP or MS or whomever did it
          first. The reason people like the iPhone is that it works.

          But to your points - all of which are old news AND low
          hanging fruit which show's your fervent anti Apple
          position.

          1. and then added it back in again. All will change come
          June.

          2. Well whatever.

          3. Not really an issue - the browser is pretty damn good
          on whatever network you're using.

          4. Most were unbroken pretty quickly.
          jgpmolloy
        • A clue for NunZealot.....

          [i]Apple saw that touch screen cell phones were an opportunity and he copied from a long line of touch screen cell phones that came before. Any touch screen cell phone that came after the iPhone owes more to Palm, HP, HTC, and likely others than they do to anything Apple did. [/i]


          Apple has a touch screen that no one else has, nor can come close to.. They literally spent years patenting the snot out of it before adding it to a handheld computer and bringing it to market. Yes NunZealot... a handheld computer... That little device runs OSX... It's not just for phone calls. But I can understand how your little mind got confused by the name.

          Apple did what no one else could do. They made the touchscreen popular, enjoyable, and sucessfully innovated gesturing. No one is going to make an iPhone killer anytime soon. They can try to copy the look, but they are missing the key points: gesturing, it's a computer, not just a phone... It can be updated overnight.

          To address your moronic points directly...

          [i]1. Innovated the complete inability for the user to add programs to their phone.[/i]
          Are you a complete moron? Apple released a dev kit specifically for the iPhone, I expect the apps I can buy for an iPhone to surpass all the rest of the handhelds on the market combined. Have you looked at the list of web pages specifically for the iPhone? I don't see any specifically for any other device. How many programs can you add to your Palm or blackberry? Yup.. I got a cat with more toes than that?.


          [i]2. Innovated the non-removable battery.[/i]
          Non-removable batteries came along way before Apple's iPods. Regardless, your point is lame. Has there ever been an issue with the iPhone batteries? Will there ever be an issue with them? I seriously doubt it. But I have three years of coverage and if there is a problem, I will make a call to Apple and they will send me a new or a pristine refurbed iPhone. I will then sync my data to it and be back in business. During that 2 to 3 day process, I will slip my sim chip into the freebee phone I got from AT&T and use it for the couple days it takes apple to get me my iPhone.


          [i]3. Innovated the use of old cell phone data network technologies.[/i]
          No, they designed it to be able to work globally with the most common denominator. Why would they have designed the first gen for 3g when there was a court battle raging and no one knew if it was going to be adopted globally? This is not brain surgery. It only takes the tiniest bit of common sense to realize this.


          [i]4. Innovated the use of bricking phones if the user dared to unlock it.[/i]
          This was innovated more than 10 years prior to the iPhone. What happened if you hacked or customized an OS or program and then tried to install updates or patches on it? Yup... It done broke. Any kid who likes video games can tell you this. Anyone with more than 5 days of computer experience can tell you this. Any moron who bricked their iPhone deserved it.


          Ask yourself.. Gee.. Why couldn't Palm, HP, or HTC make a touch screen device as popular, enjoyable, and useful as the iPhone???

          No one owes any thanks to Palm, HP, nor HTC. The copycat companys that lack taste, style, creativity, and intelligence can copy the look of the iphone all they want. But they will never copy what's inside, the enjoyable user experience and interface. The style and grace of the iPhone. The gesturing and the multi touch screen. A truely classy device.

          They are trying to copy the look and add it to a phone/smart phone/PDA. The iphone is a computer with a real OS and unlimited potential... The only way someone can kill the iPhone will be to invent a better wearable computer. It can happen, It might happen, but it will be a long time before anyone gets close.

          Now if the rumors are correct and Apple releases a 200 dollar 3G iPhone... Well just prepare to buy a lot of tissue... LOL
          i8thecat
      • What are you smoking exxtraz?

        Palm Treos were out long before iPhone, and the touchscreens are quite useful. I use the Centro now, and the touchscreen is superb. You're showing your bias there, and I would consider myself an Apple fan. However, I'll not buy the iPhone and be forced to switch to a network with the most drops!
        Aragorn_z
        • Still using my Treo

          Yup, I agree. There are features of the iPhone I like and it is cute but I would never go back to AT&T from Verizon and I like being able to change the battery in my smart phone. Any phone that incorporates the best features of the iPhone, just as the iPhone incorporated some of the best features of the Treo, but answers the iPhones major flaws will get good market share.
          Baer
  • Not really,

    Ok, to make an iPhone killer one have to make something better than iPhone.

    This is clear rip-off. Yet, I'm not surprised.
    exxtraz
  • What they are missing

    All of these companies touting 'iphone killers' are missing the point. It's not enough to create a look alike. You need a device that is vertically integrated to the desktop and the web.

    I can tell you now that if me iPhone didn't sync my podcast subscriptions, music, addresses, bookmarks, and calendar, it wouldn't have been worth half the 400$.

    Sure, it's shitty to be tied into apple's closed ecosystem - but it works. It works well. I don't even have to think about it. That's the beauty of the iPhone.

    It's the same with my Treo 750 for work - if it didn't sync my cal/email/contacts/notes/todos, it would be worthless to me. I would spend half my time worrying: 'did I update the phone number here or on OWA? is the new meeting at 3pm, or was that the old meeting?,' etc.

    Note: I'm not trying to be pro apple or anti everything else, I'm just trying to explain, from my POV, Apple's runaway success (when compared to similar devices that cost far less and have 2x the features).
    Gritztastic
  • Why does this author brand everything "the iPhone killer"?

    I guess we should refer to OSX sarcasticly as yet another "Windows Killer" ;)
    GuidingLight
    • Apple Fans are Like Obama Fans

      Tee reason is because some just follow Jobs no matter what he sells. When the press falls in love with something or someone the agenda becomes the key issue.
      For me the AT&T network and not being able to change out the battery, either when it is discharged and I am not able to plug in or when it weakens in a year or so, made the iPhone a non starter for me.
      Baer
  • RE: Yet another

    label anything "iPhone killer" and it's doomed to fail. Why not make the next step and invent something NEW? If you make it compelling enough they will come. Otherwise you're always playing catch-up.Apple doesn't have the market cornered on IDEAS folks. Get off yer butts and hire visionaries.
    lkern
  • RE: Brand Battle; iPhone Iconic vs. Blackberry Business Booster vs. Nokia N

    It is war out there; three smartphone brands are taking the world by storm. Nokia has the largest army and has a defensive strategy. BlackBerry is conquering the business world and Apple???s iPhone is raising its army of affluent trendsetters. Soon to be followed by a mass army of ???can I get that music device with the white ear plugs??? (the iPod illiterates of the second hour). The three generals have different strategies and lines of communications. Let the games begin????????????.

    <a href="http://www.replytoall.nl/corporate-communicatie/brand-battle-iphone-iconic-vs-blackberry-business-booster-vs-nokia-numbers/">Brand Battle; iPhone Iconic vs. Blackberry Business Booster vs. Nokia Numbers.</a>
    christian@...
  • RE: Yet another

    it will launch as a worldwide lifetime exclusive on Verizon and Vodafone

    This is the part I have a problem with. Why are these providers such stingy little children. I know a lot of people choose service for the phone they are getting, but why are the developers letting the moble companies handicap their sales. At this rate service providers would have it you can only call their own customers if they could pull it off. Luckily with the 700Mhz auction this type of gimmick will be a thing of the past.
    Myzraeleus
  • I think the author doesn't get it

    [i]Haven?t we seen enough alleged ?iPhone killers? already[/i]

    Who said anything about these being "iPhone Killers" (other then the author?)

    Maybe some people want some of the features of the iPhone without actually wasting money on the iPhone and it's exclusive carrier, AT&T?
    AllKnowingAllSeeing
  • Oh yeah, Let's talk Batteries...

    Time it takes to change the battery in a BlackBerry: 1 to 2 minutes if you go real slow.

    -Can your iPhone do that? Didn't think so.
    -Owned my Verizon BB 8130 about 4 months: number of dropped calls = ZERO!
    -Business use of BB = 0, Personal use = 100%
    -Can't wait to upgrade to BB Thunder; might consider an iPhone if I was given one free and someone else was paying for all the Apple Juice associated with it - but I don't like ATT, and yes I have used them before.
    blc1839
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