According to reports in today's Wall Street Journal and on CNBC, pesky Research In Motion (RIM) plans to introduce a touch-screen version of its BlackBerry to thwart the challenge posed by the popularity of Apple's iPhone. (And no wonder we are seeing so many RIM TV ads ...)
Apparently dubbed the Thunder, the new BlackBerry is among RIM's strongest moves so far to appeal to the increasing number of consumers jumping for multimedia phones, a market that is increasingly turning to touch-screen devices for their ease of use (and cool factor). Easy integration with iTunes and the iPhone's sophisticated touch-screen were key features that made the iPhone such a big hit.
Slated for introduction in the third quarter, the Thunder will be sold exclusively through Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and Vodafone in Europe. Verizon Wireless's main rival, AT&T, is the iPhone's exclusive distributor (sadly) in the U.S.
(Thanks to The Boy Genius Report for the photo!)