The BlackBerry has been making its presence felt in the consumer market since the arrival of the Pearl a few years back, but today sees the UK launch of what is likely to be its most popular consumer device to date — the Storm.
Already the mobile phone company — which will be offering the Storm in 10 countries worldwide — has received pre-orders from well over 100,000 British customers who want one when it goes on sale.
The phone is RIM’s response too the growing popularity of touchscreen devices, which was sparked by the arrival of the iPhone a year and a half ago. Vodafone lost out on the iPhone to bitter rival O2 in the UK.
More recently, Nokia has jumped on the touchscreen bandwagon — which has to date been dominated by Asian manufacturers such as LG and Samsung — while T-Mobile made a major splash recently with the G1, the first handset to include Google’s Android operating system.
The G1 is, of course, made by HTC which recently launched its own-brand full touchscreen device — called the HTC Touch HD.
The Storm, meanwhile, is free to anyone willing to sign up to a two year contract at £35 a month, making it cheaper than the G1 and iPhone.
Nokia has yet to sign up an operator for its touchscreen phone in the UK.