RIM says phones will still trump netbooks

Amid a wave of hype about wireless gadgets like netbook computers and mobile internet devices, Research In Motion’s Co-CEO Jim Balsillie says he will keep focused on the BlackBerry maker’s core business of phones even as computer makers are starting to make phones and phone rival Nokia eyes netbooks.  

This means that Balsillie is focused on developing more new versions of each of BlackBerry phones: those shaped like candy-bars, with touch-screen controls and devices with mini-QWERTY keypads. 

“Form factor is a personal preference but it’s got to be something that lasts the better part of the day and you can hold up to your ear and clip onto your belt,” he said  in response to our question about his vision for future products. “Those are a very tight systems constraints for a netbook.” 

And, if a phone’s dimensions seems too cramped for the increasingly sophisticated media, entertainment and business services offered, Balsillie said this:
“If you want richer keyboards and richer displays you can just use perphiperals and bluetooth.”
Bob Stutz an executive from business software supplier SAP, which delivers business applications to BlackBerry devices, was dismissive of the relevance of devices like netbooks for his clients. 

“We’ve been down this route with these kinds of devices,” he said, referring to “iPaqs, fliptop notebooks and other specialist devices.”

RIM tops iPhone with consumers in Q1

In a rivalry that should only grow more heated in the months to come, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Curve moved past Apple’s iPhone in the first quarter to become the best-selling consumer smartphone in the U.S., research group NPD said on Monday.

RIM had three of the top five best-selling consumer smartphones in the period, with the Storm at No. 3 and the Pearl at No. 4, NPD said. T-Mobile’s G1 ranked No. 5.

NPD credited a “buy-one-get-one” promotion by Verizon Wireless for the Curve’s push past the iPhone.

Verizon Wireless sells out of BlackBerry Storm early?

Has Verizon Wireless already run out of BlackBerry Storm phones?

Buyers who didn’t get to Verizon stores in time on Friday, the first day of sales, were first told that they would get the touch-screen iPhone rival in about five to seven days.

But by Monday morning, Verizon’s website was only promising that orders would be shipped by mid December, citing “limited availability.” Dec. 15 was also the date cited by at least one midtown Manhattan store, which had run out early on Friday.

Does this signal overwhelming demand that took Verizon and Research In Motion by surprise, or some sort of problem? RIM referred questions about the delay to Verizon Wireless. Verizon Wireless was still not commenting by 4.45 PM Monday.

New BlackBerry draws some lines, even some storms

The BlackBerry Storm was greeted with lines of hundreds of people when it went on sale Friday morning.

While it didn’t quite measure up to an iPhone launch day, where many people will have camped out for days, it created more of a stir than most phone launches.

Here are some scenes from a midtown Manhattan store to which police were called as would-be shoppers were annoyed they didn’t get a phone.