RIM’s Osborne Special Edition BlackBerries

By  |  Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 7:57 am

AT&T is going to get three new “4G” BlackBerry models: a Bold with a touchscreen and two Torches, including one Torch with a large-ish 3.7″ display. They’ll run the new BlackBerry 7 OS, which RIM says offers “a much smoother and faster BlackBerry experience.”

I wanna give the phones and BlackBerry 7 a chance–and a BlackBerry with both a big display and a slide-out keyboard could be cool. But the new models have a whiff of the Osborne effect about them: RIM is already talking about even newer handsets that sport dual-core processors and software based on the potent QNX-based OS that debuted in its troubled-but-has-potential BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

BlackBerry fans who remain largely happy with the platform might get excited about BlackBerry OS 7. But I suspect that everybody else–phone shoppers who are at least as likely to consider an iPhone, an Android, or even a Windows Phone or WebOS handset–is reserving any potential BlackBerry-induced excitement for the future QNX models. Which aren’t available yet. (At this point, 2012 seems likely.) Why get too emotionally attached to a next-generation platform that we already know will become a last-generation platform before too long?

My personal barometer remains simple: We’ll know that RIM is in solid shape when there’s a new BlackBerry that Lance Ulanoff is enthusiastic about.

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