RIM’s revival - Macleans.ca

RIM’s revival

All-in-one: The new Torch combines an iPhone-like touch screen with a physical keyboard

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

Research In Motion remains North America’s smartphone leader, even if it’s now widely perceived to be a runner-up behind Apple and its iPhone when it comes to innovation.

This week, however, RIM finally appeared to be on the cusp of getting its mojo back. The Waterloo, Ont.-based company revealed its much-anticipated BlackBerry Torch device, which combines a slide-out keyboard with a touch screen powered by an all-new operating system.

The hope is that the Torch will combine the functionality of a traditional BlackBerry—physical keyboard, secure corporate email—with an iPhone-like interface and multimedia experience. But it’s not just Apple that RIM needs to fend off these days. Recent data suggests that Google’s mobile operating system, Android, has surpassed the iPhone in popularity among new users in the United States, suggesting the smartphone wars have only just begun.