Exclusive: First Live Pics of the BlackBerry Thunder!

BlackBerry Thunder - QWERTY Keyboard
By Kevin Michaluk on 13 Jul 2008 04:37 pm EDT
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This just in, you are now looking at the first live images of the BlackBerry Thunder and its touchscreen keyboard!!

The first pics and screenshots we have seen of the BlackBerry Thunder have been awesome, but it's nice to finally have live hands-on photo evidence that the BlackBerry Thunder is REAL and it's working (of course, only time will tell for sure just how well!). More details and another photo of the BlackBerry Thunder's touchscreen after the jump!

BlackBerry Thunder - SureType

Here's a quick recap of the details we brought you last week on the Thunder's touchscreen display:

  • Tactile Response - when you press on the Thunder's screen, it pushes in "just" a little bit (the whole screen is sort of like a big button) and you get immediate "real" feedback - you hear an audible clickety sound, and can feel a buzz in your finger where you actually pressed on the display.
  • Full QWERTY and SureType entry - hold the phone in landscape mode and you can take advantage of a full-qwerty keypad. Use the phone in portrait mode and you can enter data on a SureType keyboard. You will be able to choose/change your screen/keyboard orientation at anytime. 
  • Screen is made of glass and will feature multi-touch - the Thunder is said to be utilizing WebKit for it's browser engine (same as the iPhone), so hopefully that means a solid web browsing experience for the Thunder.

These keyboard skins are from a fairly early build of the Thunder's 4.7 OS (the final release keyboard skins are sure to be sexier), but you can easily tell from the images the user-experience RIM is going after here... they want typing on the Thunder to be EASY. That means a lot of screen real estate dedicated to the keyboard, which makes room for big keys that are easy to locate and tap. RIM is famous for the 'BlackBerry Prayer' position users assume when typing messages on their devices and it looks like that won't change with the introduction of the touchscreen Thunder... you should be able to grip the device with both hands and pound out emails with both thumbs blazing.

The images also provide further confirmation that the Thunder's operating system will still rely heavily on the BlackBerry menu button for key functions and advanced options vs putting all options on the main screen as the iPhone does. I'd assume hitting the menu key while on the Compose Message screens shown in these images should provide the standard BlackBerry menu options such as Send, Copy/Paste, Save Draft, Check Spelling, Attach file, etc.

After using an iPhone 3G for a couple of days, I'll say this: while it's pretty, it's not very efficient at getting stuff done (ahem) lighting-quick. A touchscreen BlackBerry like this may just one-up the iPhone in that department because it's based on the speedy and efficient BlackBerry OS while also getting the benefits of a gigantic touchscreen for web browsing, reading and viewing media.

What do you think, does RIM have another winner on their hands?

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

Exclusive: First Live Pics of the BlackBerry Thunder!

220 Comments

As an engineer I have to tell you that products don't just roll off the production line ready for prime time use. We start simple. Something like this I would imagine is used by engineers to test usability of the touch screen and its responsiveness. The looks of the keys wouldn't matter. Another team would be working on that.. but for now they would need to know how well the keyboard actually works and come up with ways to improve it.

The one thing I always seem to notice is that apple innovates and others duplicate.

Now, maybe I'm a little biased towards apple, but It's been 7 years since the introduction of the iPod and its seems like every MP3 player that comes out is proclaimed to be the "iPod killer" but nothing ever actually "kills" the iPod.

To be honest, I think apple has created another iPod-like scenario. While some of these phones offer some cool things the iPhone doesn't offer (yet). It just seems like apple gains so much momentum from being the first to break a new techology and no one else is ever able to gain the hype back.

All in all, the phone looks an awful lot like the iPhone, and thats why I don't think it'll be a big hit. I would expect a company like RIM to innovate rather than follow apples lead.

Then again, apple came to this market trying to take on RIM's market share, so maybe this will play out differently than the iPods.

I'll enjoy my iPhone3G until something truly better comes along.

PS. Congrats to the guy who came out of the closet on this thread.

yea u might think that the iphone was the 1st touchscreen and everyone copied the iphone starting with the LG voyager but iphone copied the LG Prada

All your engines are belong to me. Engineers are just Mechanics with a degree. It´s just funny how rediculously they band together at University. It´s like a bunch of geeks (geeks are not smart, nerds are the smart ones), yet their mother is not the one responsible for making them dress badly.
It´s like a licensed Ditch-digger. Next step down is College-educated (Non-University) land surveyer. That includes all engineers.

I agree and disagree with you.... the iPhone is cool. It was the first to be a "touch screen only" phone that detects your finger, not the pen in your purse or the change in your pocket (no more dialing with your hip). But if you are a female with nails it's almost impossible to use. However, remember Palm was the first to offer the touch screen, so now, who's copying who here.

However, iPhone doesn't offer the higher organizational features of a blackberry, that is why I don't own an iPhone. The iPhone was developed for a different generation. Blackberrys were designed more for the business person and the iPhone was developed more for the personal entertainment and "show off" generation.

By developing a "touch screen only" Blackberry, blackberry is able to bridge the gap between generations and could very much replace the iPhone.

I have several friends that ran out and purchased iPhones but as their needs matured they traded them for Blackberrys.

It'll be nice to carry one devise for everything and be able to sync my appointments, contacts and music to my computer without having to load iTunes and duplicating my music library.

Hey, if your an Apple person, than more power to you, but if your a PC person then the blackberry is looking more and more attractive.

congratlations you are the first person to make a real comment, does anyone else care to talk about this awsome new phone, have an opinion?, or just talk crap!

A modern cellular phone IS an engineering marvel. The science and engineering that goes into creating one is nothing short of a man-made miracle. Your sheer ignorance of that fact however, does not make it anything less.

I don't get what most people are saying. There are two things I think one must consider:

(1) As people have commented, this is NOT the finalized product. Every product will go through some sort of change in the middle of the testing process to perfect said product.

(2) People talk about how dull this looks. Firstly, the fonts are customizable. Personally, I hate Comic Sans, but, hey, there are settings to change that. Secondly, it looks like it's just in a notes application, how fancy do you want it to be? It's one thing to call a product out for lacking in the looks department if it in anyway impairs function, but it's completely different for disparaging a product for not being dressed up enough--which isn't to say ugly. What else do you want from a notes application, a unicorn border?

I don't think RIM has been complimented enough for the work it's done recently in bridging the gap between business phones--let's be honest, the blackberry is the quintessential business device--and "regular consumer" devices. I mean, starting with the Pearl line, it's become a more approachable brand. I've seen high schoolers with these. Who would've thought this 5-10 years ago?

Derx you are right, I am 18 and a senior in high school, and if you don't have a blackberry curve, or pearl, then your not cool...unfortunately the iphone also puts you in the cool category. But still, blackberry has come a long way in what seems like only about a year. Look at the iphone 3g...its just as stupid as the first one, and it was a whole year newer...my point, is that blackberry has jumped miles in one year.

Wow, I'd hate to go to your school if you're judged on how cool you are by what phone you have. What a shallow waste of time.

lol, get a life? How about learn the difference between your and you're? Do you know how idiotic people percieve you to be when you boast about having a blackberry, yet you can't differentiate from your and you're? It invalidate any decent point you're trying to make, and people will always remember you as an idiot who has got parents with big pockets.

People who can't tell the difference between your and you're should be kept in school and deprived of internet/moible access until they learn basic word usage of the English langauge. That's the only way to snuff their ego, and bring them down to earth.

thanks for emphasizing the problem the high schooler had with differentiating your and you're. Perhaps you might consider working on your own verb conjugation -- take for example, 'invalidate'...

wow, criticizing someones short hand (and yes I know 'someones' should be someone's but its short hand jack-ass) and typos as a level of their intellegence is an all time low, especially when I counted several typos and grammatical mistakes in YOUR post. YOU'RE an idiot.

Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with all of you? I mean honestly, your and you're...damn

If you find that your time is best spent among such trivial matters than so be it. I mean, it's not like one could ignore a slight err and take the comment as it is understandable despite the horrendous grammatical disaster /hyperbole

--pineapple?

definitely a good chuckle.... boy you folks can get so distracted from the main subject, almost a pity anyone cares to ask for your input.

As if you haven't been slandered enough already for your childishness, let me point out this quote:

"It invalidate any decent point you're trying to make, and people will always remember you as an idiot who has got parents with big pockets.

People who can't tell the difference between your and you're should be kept in school and deprived of internet/moible access until they learn basic word usage of the English langauge. That's the only way to snuff their ego, and bring them down to earth."

Invalidate? who has GOT parents? basic word usage of the english language?

Dear, you are a grammatical disaster. Not to mention an obnoxious know-it-all whom obviously has waaay to much time on their hands.

This is the 1st comment I have ever left on any of these sites and it's only because stupidity and intolerance push my buttons.

It's obvious you don't text or IM and if you do it must be painful for those that communicate back to you lol!

Its time 4 u 2 chill out man LOL

"It invalidate any decent point you're trying to make..."

Um, try 'invalidates'. Sorry, but if you want to be picky (even if I agree with you), you might want to use spell check.

Me likes to invalidates your comments. Is you all edumacated or what? I'd like to axe this question for ya'll... whats up with ya guys .. can't we ALL gets along?

Geesh Louises...

"How about learn the difference between your and you're? Do you know how idiotic people percieve you to be when you boast about having a blackberry, yet you can't differentiate from your and you're? It invalidate any decent point you're trying to make, and people will always remember you as an idiot who has got parents with big pockets."

While I agree with the point made, it's kind of funny that someone goes about correcting the grammar of another with misspellings and dropped letters.

How about learnING
percEIve
It invalidateS

Just sayin'...

i can differentiate goes as follows, you`re = you are an idiot.
and your = your parents should slap you for being an idiot
lmfao

You are clearly either A) hated in high school because you were a know-it-all ass or B) oblivious to the torturous time high school actually is. I suppose it could even be both. Relax dude, he's just making a figure of speech.

fark me, this is the first and last time i get on this blog.

Hey high-schooler, set the trend bro.

Im outta here (did you understand that grammar-man?)

Just to correct you on one point gforce2 theb Blackberry has been around doing it's thing for far longer then a year. When I switch from Palm to PPC (in 2001)I wondered why anyone would get a Blackberry and that would still be true if it were not for the track ball on the Pearl. Although I will admit I almost fell into the dark side of the force with the iPhone craziness because of the bells and whistles, the push email is reason enough to "push" me back to the light.

As for the whole your/you're thing, please forgive some of these crumpy bitter old folks.

.... but it's also half a year away from release. Looks like it's a design used for testing the usability of the keyboard, debugging, etc.. If the past is any guide, there is 0% probability the device would be released looking like this, so what are you complaining about?

I bet the iPhone looked like a total POS 6 months ago, too.

Actually the iPhone looked great 6 months ago, while millions of customers were already using it.
btw- maybe the real reason it looks so crappy is because the ceo wants nothing to do with it, or just doesn't get it:
“I couldn’t type on it and I still can’t type on it, and a lot of my friends can’t type on it,” says Mike Lazaridis, R.I.M.’s co-chief executive and technological visionary. “It’s hard to type on a piece of glass.”

The CEO said he "couldn't type on the iPhone screen, as typing on a piece of glass is hard".
Then they announced their own version, which has a responsive touch screen which vibrates to give a better feel to touch screen typing, and moves slightly when pressed.
Do you not see he stuck to his opinion and has acted on it? Going with the touch screen but making it easier and feel better to type on.

As for you quoting the guy above, most people would assume he meant 6 months before it was released rather than 6 months ago to this date, but we don't make a big deal about it as we are more concerned with the article and commenting on that.

Quoting people is easy. Try getting your facts straight and see the full picture before doing so - that's the hard part.

all of you without blackberries are some angry mean people.
And if you were so devoted to your apple iphones, why are you on the blackberry page?
be nice
of course we are all going to defend our own phones and what ones we like better.
so be nice.
no big deal
you love your iphones.
we love our crackberries.
although blackberries do come in cool colors
like red, black, silver and like mine, pink.
haha

so go play on your silly iphone, and leave us happy crackberry users alone!

Why is there always someone that post "first comment", even when they are not the first. It's a stupid thing to do anyway, made worse by the fact that their wrong.

Maybe obligated to your contract, not the phone it self, and if your cant afford to switch phones every 3 months get a better job. jk
but seriously

Hey that looks pretty good!! Good work getting those picks Kevin!!! But will it convince me to hold out, or will i get a 3G iPhone??? My fate is in your hands!

The only thing I don't like is the SureType keyboard. I hope I can make it a full qwerty keyboard in either mode. If not I will be in landscape mode most of the time.

Any idea when it's coming out?

I think it looks amazing! Touch screen would be a lot more useful in web browsing, and I'm excited about the full qwerty keyboard! As for the push in buzz of the buttons I'm not sure about. I guess I'd just have to get my hands on one to see for sure!

If your not sure about that buzz when you touch a key then hit up a verizon store and check out the LG Voyager. It has the same tactile response buzz. Honestly, I like it.

If any company out there that is as innovative as Apple, it would be RIM (or google). I have no doubts it will be a solid, over achieving device. It looks clean and simple which i love but I hope they fancy it up a little bit

I don't think they will go all out for this phone. Just remember what happen with the Sony PS3. Companies can't afford to lose out on their products by putting in so much stuff that they can't get any in return.

i think they're still limited by their proprietary approach to everything. they do have a superior OS yes, and excellent hardware. but i think the fact that google has embraced open source technology will make it a force to reckoned with in the coming years. honestly, why pay for something when you can get it for free?

It is simple. That's good. It is "plain" which isn't good. Simple and elegant is what they need to shoot for. This is a long way from that. It looks cartoonish almost. Also, I question the functionality of the phone and menu buttons on the bottom. No other way to do it; however, one handed operation of those buttons will be a little awkward I would think.

I think it looks pretty cool so far, honestly i'm not worried about the keyboard-i'm sure RIM will make it as best as they can. What I am interested in is how thick this thing will be? iPhones are pretty slim for phones, I don't want to lug around this thing if it's gonna be huge. Another thing I am very interested in is if the internet browsing will be the same as the iPhones, if it's not-then forget this thing I rather have an iphone or pearl. I really hope they use WebKit to make it like the iPhones. Unfortunately the iphone has is beat in many areas like media, storage, downloading apps, RIM is gonna have to put a lot of effort into this one if they really wanna compete. But otherwise it looks great!

Good job Kevin, but I want to say, that this is one of the Older builds. The one that RIM is working with as I type is WAY different. This looks like S*** compared to what the current build is!! Promise. But great find regardless!!!

The prototypes overall design has been changing constantly but the technology of the screen not so much. We are just tweaking that part just a bit. As always trying to keep the battery power at a respectable rating is always hard. What is on it right now is sucking up too much juice.

Looks good to me. Lets hope they have a GSM version out. With RIM's track records of supporting GSM first and leaving CDMA afterwards even though this is suppose to be a Verizon exclusive Im sure they will come out with something similar for GSM/UMTS.

This phone looks like CRAP!! I mean, does that look like a Iphone killer to you? NO. H311 NO!! But this is def a older build, and whats going to hit shelves will look alot better.

Did you guys read the above posts. It's obviously not final by any means. Your talking like its going to hit the market tomarrow and this is how it is going to look.

Yeah, because the posters above are obviously in "the know" about the future of the keyboard of the device, and can guarantee that one with a better visual presentation is in the works...

Until RIM or leakers confirm otherwise, this is the keyboard that people will base their impressions on. Live with it - It's not on the burden of critics to prove that the Thunder has better aesthetics than this.

I've never found the blackberry OS to be speedy.. although it is somewhat efficient. Maybe I've just owned all the wrong blackberries...

It's not quite as snappy the Palm OS, but the BlackBerry is much faster than any Windows Mobile phone I've used. I fired up my old HTC S621 running Windows Mobile 6.0 and the sluggishness and slow application launch times just annoyed the hell out of me!

the BBOS is nice. it gets better with every release. i'm hoping the 4.5 will take care of some of the issues i'm having w/ my 8830.

If i were to get another blackberry i would want that one. Man that thing is nice. To bad it will be wasted on Verizon. T-Mobile needs that phone. I like it better than the bold. I wont get a bold and just pray Rim changes their minds on making it a Verizon only phone.

To bad T-mobile sucks. It only works in city areas. You go out to far and you get no coverage. Why would RIM want to waste there time with them on a nice product like the thunder. Stick with Verizon There #1 for a reason.

WOW :) Even if this is just the first version that RIM are playing about with it looks like they're onto a winner.
The keyboard doesn't need to be flash & fancy it just needs keys that you can actually use & those keys look perfect !!

Would like to see more screenshots (i'm sure they'll appear) of say maybe an e-mail...will scrolling be done with flicking your finger or will it have scroll bars down one side & so on...so many things to look forward to on this device.

WOW im on verizon have a blackberry almost went to cingular for this and thank god i didn't sign on like my friend for the iphone this is way better than any iphone yay for blackberry~!

hell yeah and i am happy that its going to verizon first because this is a dream come true and i was going to get a iphone in september but this comes out in september of this year so i am so happy and thankful i love blackberrys iv used them all of my life and would hate to go to apple even thou i love there comps!

Gone? I'll have some of what you're drinking/smoking.

iPhone 3G sold a million in the first weekend. RIM will be lucky if they sell a million of these in the first MONTH.

I sure hope that Crucila Extreme is right because the device pictured doesnt look very innovative, but rather looks like a very rough product. Just my opinion though.

Good job Kev, nice pics! I think once more pictures come out people will see just how great this device will be. It will combine the features of an iphone with the functionality of a BlackBerry. I'm sure the screen will be just as vibrant and colorful as the iphone. Hope it is on track for November! (or earlier!!)

From what I saw, the iPhone didnt have a flashy keyboard though the phone definitely is. There was nothing that was "OMG" about the keyboard but that doesnt mean the phone isnt.

It may look simple but it looks clean and looks like one of those rubber roll-out keyboards. The buttons looks spaced out pretty well.

The pics that have come out make me think more about themes. Will the keyboards appearance be theme controlled? If so, I can imagine all the kick-@$$ themes that people will make and I'm excited to see the blackberry applications that will come as a result of the Thunder's creation.

Like my blackberry now, if I'm getting over the look of the icons, the blackgrounds, or the fonts, I can dl a new theme and change the appearance. If you think the keyboard looks plain, how cool would it be to be able to dl a theme and change the appearance of the keyboard? Good times will be had with this phone.

I hope they have user options so if we choose we can have smaller buttons. Those huge buttons look ridiculous. The overly large buttons may be nice for the elderly who are losing their eye sights or those who have fat digits but for me, taking up that much real estate for the keyboard seems like a stupid idea.

I hope they have user options so if we choose we can have smaller buttons. Those huge buttons look ridiculous. The overly large buttons may be nice for the elderly who are losing their eye sights or those who have fat digits but for me, taking up that much real estate for the keyboard seems like a stupid idea.

I don't understand why people are passing on this thing already. Wait until it comes out, or at least until it's reviewed by some people. You can't look at some pictures that may not even be the final build and say it's going to suck.

This looks like a good start. For me just having a touchscreen BB would work. It doesn't even need to have all the glitz and glamour of the iphone...although it is welcome and expected.

Before all of you criticize why not just wait until it comes out or we know more. I don't know how anyone can say they'll pass without knowing what the final build will be. As anxious as I am for this phone i'm also not going to assume its the best thing ever from scattered details and images. Just gonna wait and then give it a test drive.

By the way they may not be too reliable, but my wishful thinking is hoping Horizon is right with their Aug 11 date. I'll wait til NOV though if I have to.

http://www.horizonwirelessonline.com/cat/index.php?main_page=product_inf...

I would definitely want to test one out before getting one. After having a HTC Touch, I am very turned off of touch screen phones. I have tried a iPhone and liked it but of course it's no Blackberry. Combining the quickness of the Blackberry OS with the touch screen might just turn out great. It's gonna take all my energy to resist buying this phone when it comes out. Hopefully it debuts when my contract with Telus is coming to an end.

I can't wait to get my hands on the Thunder! I will up be in line over night to be the first in line to get this one! All the haters need to shut up!

Although I am a bb fan, I wouldn't jump to that conclusion just yet for the sake of blog wars. Wait til a hands-on video or your own. This is just asking for fanboys to start a "mine is better than yours" fight. Lord knows there is enough of that to go around right now.

I have learned a long time ago to not take a picture for it's worth. It could be better it could be worse.

The only way to find out is to actually get it and "play" with it. Maybe they (whoever carries it) will have a live display model.

Yes I agree, the pic's don't do it any justice, but, that doesn't make it a piece of crud.

I would like to look at it as a whole.

msblueline

ps. I did not read all thirty five comments, so if it was mentioned I am sorry. If it was mentioned in Kev's article I skimmed it

msblueline

I hope to God that the Thunder doesn't look like that aesthetically. Let's just hope that this in fact is FAR from what the final production unit will lool like.

I have been eagerly anticipating the Bold but the more I learn about the thunder, I am thinking it might be worth waiting to compare the two.

I see this and 2 things come to mind.

First, you can't really appreciate a soft keyboard without some video of it in action. Also, I notice there is not 'Alt' key, it must be rendered unnecessary.

Second, when is the frickin' Bold gonna get released. The wait is killing me!

The Alt isn't gone, it's relabeled. If you look in the bottom-left corner, you'll see a ".,123" button, which are things you would press the Alt key to get to.

I know this is a pre-production unit, but I hope they address the light, or lack there of, on the hard keys at the bottom -- looks cheap

The screen is at 100% (backlight), the buttons are whatever...

1: They aren't meant to be as bright as the screen.
2: When you take a picture with a digital camera, if there is a s**t-ton of light coming from the subject (the phone in this instance) all other surrounding light is dimmed. And seeing as you can actually read the text on the screen, the camera adjusted exactly as it should have...

Wait for the "press release" photos...You'll see exactly what kind of light levels the Thunder is working with.

:)

I know it's kind of petty, but I don't think it's very exclusive if the story has been up on Gizmodo for pretty much an entire day. o_O

edit: Also I thought they pretty much confirmed that it wasn't the Thunder but rather the Storm, so I'm a touch confused when people still insist on referring to it as such.

Well comsidering that the post's time-stamp says "5:24 PM on Sun Jul 13 2008," hard to say it has been up an entire day.

And also, since they are posting pics that they said they got from Crackberry, why wouldn't they want to report exclusive news? Whether it's their own or not.

And as far as what has been confirmed, I don't think anything official has come out. Nothing official has come from RIM. But I would bank on Thunder.

While I'm sure it has a chance of being a solid product I'm afraid it will NOT be using multi-touch.
Ya know, I'm getting kind of tired of careless azz reporting by so called "reporters" on these tech news blogs.
Can you explain to me how it is going to use multi-touch if Apple owns the patent on it?
It will have some sort of touch interface similar to Apple's but it will not be "multi-touch". The patent on that technology is owned by Apple. And if RIM is literally going to use multi-touch in their thunder product then Apple is going to sue them out of existence!
So please correct your article.

you can pay to use someone's patent moron....who do u think owns the patent for the crescent shape qwerty keyboard that almost every PDA uses, RIM thats who

Ithink that for writing an article like this, you have actually never used an iPhone even the v1 and you have not heard RIM's CEO completely downplay the importance of the iPhone nad finding completly ridiculous the usage of a touchscreen. He furthermore said that they would never produce a device with no real keyboard.

So nice photoshop work, but this looks like a Mattel toy that a 1st grade kid could have designed.

And no, it doesn't even compare to the Sprint Instinct, let alone the iPhone.

the os is not very user friendly-a lot of menus
Plus no 3rd party apps or good media. Its just like every other iPhone "killer" its not about features which arent many anyways, its about os, iPhone is still winner

Wow, You see 2 keyboard and can judge a device that quickly before it's come out. No 3rd party apps, it took Apple a full year for that. What's to say Blackberry doesn't have 3rd party apps launching on Handango at or soon after launch. Good media? We've all seen how the new Blackberry Desktop software has iTunes support and probably a carrier related download service like Rhapsody will be included too. The Features aren't many? but they are more then the iPhone. The OS? Blackberry OS is one of the most stable PDA OS's. Governments and corporations worldwide depend on their blackberries and it's OS. Apple OS X is great... on a Mac but your IT department with Blackberry Enterprise Servers and no MobileME account know which device to get and which OS is secure.

As for other post about Multi-Touch.... read wikipedia or something with a bit more information then a Steve Jobs bible before saying how Apple Owns Multitouch. Apple is trying to patent it yes, but this technology was around since 1982. An Microsoft uses it in it's Surface computers found at AT&T stores. Apple didn't make Multitouch period.

Once again just when I was thinking about switching from my pearl to the new iPhone blackberry does it again and brings out something like this. I look forward to the new bb.

The countdown begins toward my next BB! I can't wait for this to come out. The thing I miss from my Sony Clie is the big touchscreen. This should be the ultimate iPhone killer. BB os with a touch screen will destroy that Apple piece of junk!

your site is supposed to support RIM and their products. How does leaking information and pictures like this help sell their products.

By building the BlackBerry Hype. How many BB users will pay full retail to switch to this new touchscreen BB out of contract.

How many? Just the die-hard Kool-Aid drinking Crackberry addicts. I sure am glad I shorted RIMM before their recent earnings. Keep releasing stuff like this, it's making me RICH!

It's hard to tell from the pics but it looks pretty wide. A few days ago I got the iPhone 3G and I don't think I could handle a phone wider than that.

As for the keyboard, it looks nice in the landscape orientation but I don't like the way each key does two letters in the other view. With the iPhone I wanted to get away from hitting some key several times just to get the letter I wanted and it works well even though each button is fairly small.

They have to work really hard to make it look as good as the iPhone and even harder to get the 3rd party application support that is now provided by Apple's AppStore. The best thing the Thunder will probably have will be that it isn't tied to that POS iTunes.

I noticed the "the final release keyboard skins are sure to be sexier" bit in the article and someone else said it looked "amateurish", nuts to that!

That looks awesome...

I'm not saying this as a fanboy, just from a simple UI design standpoint.

Pros:
Clean - Very clean lines, very simple and effective colors

Layout - Extremely well laid out, there's enough spacing between the keys to actually be able to use it

Cons:
Doesn't "jibe" with the current flavor of "sexy" which, of course, means it's not all bubbly and flat at the same time (iPhone).

That's it...
It's very uncluttered, think of the touch screen keyboard on the Kaiser, no comparison.

It's not more options that create a great UI it's intuitive functionality...

If your house phone (for those still using one) had every possible function mapped to a button, you'd have a very unusable product that never would have gotten where it is today (by which I mean, having dominated the telecom universe for nearly 100 years)...

Linux didn't really "take off" until they cleaned up the interface and made it more intuitive (in respect to the desktop), the underlying functionality is still there and accessible by more advanced users, but the point of entry was significantly lowered.

The first time I saw this pic a few days ago I was shocked at how utterly perfect it was...

Now they just need to put a suitable engine in that Lotus and we'll really see some magic.

First thing I noticed was it's using Comic Sans, the #1 font all intelligent designers, both visual and product, avoid. This instantaneously lost credit with me in regards to how it's going to designed... Enjoy your crappy product, everyone.

Because everyone knows you can never, ever change the font on a Blackberry, right? And as we all KNOW.......this is the final product and they are just sitting around waiting to release it, right? And we all also know that since SOME people don't like certain fonts that they should just OMIT the entire font from the OS. That makes perfect sense.

It couldn't be that they are testing ALL fonts to see how they pan out aesthetically and that we just saw the series of test involving the ComicSans font, right? No. Of course not. It isn't like RIM does thorough testing of their products or anything. God forbid someone see some preliminary pictures of a pre-Alpha OS and pass judgment on an entire product line before it is ever released.....

Derx you are right, I am 18 and a senior in high school, and if you don't have a blackberry curve, or pearl, then your not cool...unfortunately the iphone also puts you in the cool category. But still, blackberry has come a long way in what seems like only about a year. Look at the iphone 3g...its just as stupid as the first one, and it was a whole year newer...my point, is that blackberry has jumped miles in one year.

The 18yo high-school senior who doesn't know the correct usage of "your" and "you're" has the gall to refer to one of the most innovative products of the 21st century as "stupid"? I hope they at least taught you the meaning of the word "irony" at your school. Are you sure you'll be graduating soon, Sparky?

The BB Thunder will be like any other technology that comes out... There will be an improved version after. Never the less, "Touch Screen" devices are not new to the market so I gather that most of the testing will not be focused on that aspect of the device. The speed, ease of use and over all integration with all that is and new functions are what I imagine they would focus on. I owned a 8125 (PocketPC) with touch screen and it was GREAT! Before all this happened, I heard that BB had a "Touch Screen" in the works and was disappointed when the bold came out (even though it rocks) but.... now... I cannot wait till the Thunder is in my possession! Without users, they cannot improve on a device so suck it up and git er done!! BlackBerry needs user input. We need to stand against the (need I say it) Iphone.. They will never see my BES even if they did add that capability.

For all of you who are waiting for more "tangible" information on the Thunder, I'm sure that once CNET gets their hands on one, there will be a review. They have awesome video reviews!

You rock Kevin! Not sure how you've managed to score those shots but they are everywhere now! Looks like it could be nice, haptic feedback is cool.....sure not sure about giving up the real thing. Keep those shots coming!

I hope this is aviaible for AT&T users, so i can easily switch from my Curve 8310, to the THUNDER!!!!

I wouldnt be interested in this simply b/c for me the main functional point of the blackberry vs a sidekick or any horizontal style phone is being able to text and type with one hand.

Please release this to Sprint BB, I know Verizon has the Exclusive here, but It will be this or the new Javelin that replaces my Curve.

Its sexy the Size of my Curve and a big upgrade hardware/processor wise.

I'm sold.

I thinks this BB looks great to be at its initial phases of testing (hope RIM do a lot of testing with the touckscreen keyboard). And i'm positive the phone will look great when everything is completed and tested.

I sure bet this will be an iPhone killer.

I hope this isn't a big disappointment. It seems like all these phone companies are trying to "catch up" to apple by making touchscreen phones. Here's the thing. The touchscreen isnt what makes the Iphone so good, Its the UI. I picked up the iphone for the first time on the weekend and using it was so easy, the web browser was so good. The keyboard sucked. I am glad that RIM is putting work into the keyboard and I do hope that its easier to use than the Iphones but what I want most is a UI that compares in style to the Iphones, Without a good looking UI this wont be an Iphone Killer.

And by the looks of it, it just looks like the same old OS we have been using, but just adjusted to a different form factor. But I am just basing that on the fact that the frames around the message are exactly the same as 4.5 and do not blend with the keyboard nicely.

But as other posters have mentioned, this is not a finished product.

UMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!
first let me say i know this is a early version...with that said, Rim needs to add some more fonts to the blackberry becuase its outdated, second that keyboard is SUPER UGLY, Rim i hope you read these comments becuase to compete with the iphone you need to come with some new age shit, make the Blackberry 2nd nature not 2nd class. and change that damn white back drop...lol

I'm gettin' it.... I don't care what anybody says. Its the shit! And OS 4.7 is going to be crazy fast....can't wait. :)

I have a 8330 but am a huge fan of Apple products. The precision of i-phone is untouched. I would have to say that Apple is on a whole nother level then all other phone manufacturers. I don't see this device coming close to i-phone.

Has anyone considered the fact that this could just be a Photoshop mockup? There isn't anything about this photo, or any of the previous Thunder photos, that couldn't be created using pieces of existing Blackberry photos and an ounce of creativity.

If this is a real product, it will not be an iPhone killer by any means simply because the Blackberry OS is a horrible user experience compared to the iPhone. Apple is not one to license its technology to anyone, so I highly doubt it will allow anyone to produce a competitive multi-touch phone.

Truth be told, if iPhone was released on Verizon I'd have one already. I have a Curve, it's nice for what it does, but there the iPhone is a quantum leap not only in phones but also as a handheld internet device. If all we get is a touch-screen Blackberry with the same OS, without any truly defining qualities, it's going to be successful but it won't even come close to displacing the iPhone.

That's a nice article about Multi Touch, but I'm not sure what your point is? The article doesn't mention anything about Apple licensing its technology to anyone, and that was my point -- I doubt Apple will license its technology to competitors. Others may license their versions of "multi touch", but not Apple.

I still believe this is a Photoshop mockup. Where is the independent corroboration that this is a real, actual device?

I just bought a Samsung Glyde for my 15 year old daughter and after playing with it for a few days feel confident that the Thunder will be perfect for me. My husband (completely analog) has an iPhone. I am a crackberry addict, on my 3rd or 4th gen bberry. One thing that no one seems to address is that even business executives and those of us in the IT industry, have cross-over with our lives. Most execs I know with a bberry--also has a more consumer-friendly device as well to maintain contact with friends and family. While I do not want to lose the lightening fast business features that I love about the blackberry platform, I am tired of carrying additional devices that are family friendly. We may be business oriented and we may be tech friendly, but that doesn't mean we live in a vaccuum. I'm glad RIM is understanding that embracing the consumer side of the house doesn't not mean betrayal of bberry's core competencies. I have called my VZW rep and asked her to hold off on the shipment of my new Curve until I can also order the Thunder so that I might conduct a side by side comparision to see which model works best for my blend of technology, business and family.

I have an old 8703e and my contract with Verizon just expired.

I'm really excited about this but I think we consumers basically just want to play with the Bold and Thunder, then make a final decision on purchasing, or switching carriers to stick with a BB world smartphone. I'll be the crackberry addict being kindly escorted out of both the Verizon and AT&T stores in Forest Hills, NY :)

In response to the Apple iPhone, Mike Lazaridis, co-chief exec of RIM said: "I couldn’t type on it and I still can’t type on it, and a lot of my friends can’t type on it. It’s hard to type on a piece of glass.”

And now RIM does this? WOW. That guy is a massive hypocrite. So let me get this straight, all glass touchscreens are bad. They're so bad that RIM is going to come up with their own. That'll show everybody, right? it's so bad... it's good.

Good luck playing catch-up to Apple, RIM. When you start copying what Apple did a year ago, that's when you know you already lost.

"while it's pretty, it's not very efficient at getting stuff done (ahem) lighting-quick."

Sound familiar? Same words that came from the CLI jocks when Apple introduced GUI

I like what i see so far with this phone. Granted this this just a rough version... I think this phone could have a lot of potential... i look foward to hearing and seeing more about it...

Honestly, I don't see how anyone can base any opinions on this phone based on screenshots of a virtual keyboard. There is way, way more to see about how the phone actually operates before any real judgment can be made.

Also, the number one complaint about the iPhone from Blackberry owners is the lack of physical keyboard. Then, as soon as screenshots of a virtual keyboard emerge, we get this drooling article? It's way overboard.

Wait until something real comes out, then compare.

HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP I really would like to get my hands on one of those especially if it comes out on T-Mobile whoa now what about that sweep stakes?

Basically, what everyone is saying is that the picture you see of the thunder is just a prototype and everything that looks bad on it will be changed and if you hate something that's not really how it's going to look in the final production and if something isn't quite right that's because it's still undergoing testing.

So, in other words this picture could have been a picture of a block of cheese and in the end it would have been a bar of gold

WTF...then why even post a picture it's better just to describe how it will actually look when it comes to market.. then we can laugh when in all actuality this block of cheese is what comes to market.

The iPhone 3G spanks it hard. How you expect the ancient Blackberry OS to compete with OS X on a phone is beyond me.

That has to be the ugliest phone. I cannot beleive after all this time they come out with that thing. All of these full touch screen devices coming out are so sexy and this thing looks like it came from the 80s.

i have att i already own the curve i bought it over the i phone cause the plans for the i phone suck. i hope this phone will be available for att cause if it is i will be in line to get it...

So, let me get this straight. Every so-called "industry expert" says that the reason that Apple will fail in the enterprise and that it will NEVER be able to replace the Blackberry is because they refuse to put a physical keyboard on the iPhone and real professionals refuse to type on a glass touchscreen. And now RIM comes ou with their own feeble attempt at (yet another in the endless slew of) "iPhone Killers" by implementing their own touchscreen device?

Get real. The hypocrisy here is beyond reproach.

Yes that is true the Iphone will never make it as a complete business phone. However it is a great phone the UI is incredible but when u get to use it for hours just typeing it becomes to much of a hassle. Now what RIM is doing is that they are not necceseraily brining out this phone to compete with the Iphone if you think about it. What they are doing is that they are expanding their line of phone so that they can comply with the demands of all types of phone users. Don't just think that this phone is ment to be an Iphone killer think that maybe it just might be an addition to the BlackBerry line of phones. Now please people dont judge this phone before it even comes out, it might be better than the iPhone or not but does it really matter or does it matter more what phone is more suitable for your business and personall needs.

So, let me get this straight. Every so-called "industry expert" says that the reason that Apple will fail in the enterprise and that it will NEVER be able to replace the Blackberry is because they refuse to put a physical keyboard on the iPhone and real professionals refuse to type on a glass touchscreen. And now RIM comes ou with their own feeble attempt at (yet another in the endless slew of) "iPhone Killers" by implementing their own touchscreen device?

Get real. The hypocrisy here is beyond reproach.

Guessing you read nothing but blogs. Analysts or experts (whatever works for you) say that Apple will have a hard time with the business segment because RIM has had a hold on it for quite some time. The physical keyboard may have helped RIM get into that position but the fact that RIM has succeeded in the business segment is not totally dependent on its keyboard.

I find it retarded that you and most people for that matter consider any phone that comes out with a touchscreen to be an attempt to kill the iphone. Touchscreen is not new technology. What they have succeeded in has been utilizing the touchscreen with their software. There are plenty of other touchscreens but the major difference and hurdle has been their OS.
It's like saying phones that use full qwerty keyboards are trying to kill blackberry or that the rumored slider iPhone is trying to be a blackberry killer. Yes that may sound stupid but to me, it's the same as the "iphone killer" labeling.

So just because RIM is trying to utilize touchscreens does not mean it is an attempt to beat the iPhone. All you people who use that reasoning are wrong to do so and are wrong to criticize and label every touchscreen the next "iphone killer" flop.

You haven't seen or used the Thunder nor has the majority of people here who post favorable or disdaining posts. Don't knock it til you try it and don't praise it til you use it.

All touch screen phones will be compared with the iPhone. There's no avoiding it -- iPhone is the touch screen phone to beat. Anyone who thinks otherwise is blind.

Comic Sans? Are you serious? Is there really anything to get excited about in this post?

The Blackberry's best feature besides the PUSH E-Mail (which is now available on the iPhone and S60's BTW) is the QWERTY keyboard. What is going to make this Blackberry standout from the dozens of iPhone clones flopping day in and day out? You can count a dozen "iPhone killers" none of which have killed the iPhone (1,000,000 iPhone 3g's sold over the weekend).

This is just another one in the long line of iPhone knockoffs.

I've had a Blackberry since the 7510 through Nextel. After going through 3 Pearls and 2 8800's in a year and a half time I decided to purchase the Nokia N95 8gb. The phone is LOADED. But what made me retire my Nokia N95 8gb you ask? The lack of the QWERTY keyboard.

This may attract a few stragglers to RIM's product line but it most certainly is not going to be an "iPhone killer". Especially with the iPhone's MS Exchange compatibility.

i dont like the suretype keyboard at all. i like being able to have the full qwerty keyboard which blackberrys are known to have and i think it should be like that when the phone is turned both ways.

...and I'm an iPhone owner. The piece that I think people are missing is the idea of a touch screen with tactile feedback. Alpine has this technology in their high-end car stereos (somewhat ironically, the first place I played around with one was at a Macworld), and yes, it'll really be a serious win for anyone who ends up doing a lot of typing on one of these gadgets.

I don't know that this is going to be an "Apple Killer," but let's be honest -- no matter how much the various PR flacks involved may claim that the iPhone really isn't going after the Blackberry market, the iPhone 2.0 software adds ActiveSync features that pretty much add up to a neon sign flashing WE ARE GOING AFTER THE BLACKBERRY MARKET. Yes, you can point to RIM's much greater enterprise market share and how they "understand" the business market in ways Apple doesn't, but y'know, ask Quark how well that attitude worked for them in their competition with Adobe InDesign in the desktop publishing market. Quark went from a share far greater than RIM's to being the underdog, and is steadily heading toward the "Whatever happened to?" category. With the Thunder, RIM is demonstrating that they understand that just saying "Well, we're *Blackberry* and they're not!" ain't gonna cut it in the long run. And good for them. As much as I like Apple products, Steve Jobs needs competitors capable of whacking him in the butt on a regular basis.

...and I'm an iPhone owner. The piece that I think people are missing is the idea of a touch screen with tactile feedback. Alpine has this technology in their high-end car stereos (somewhat ironically, the first place I played around with one was at a Macworld), and yes, it'll really be a serious win for anyone who ends up doing a lot of typing on one of these gadgets.

I don't know that this is going to be an "Apple Killer," but let's be honest -- no matter how much the various PR flacks involved may claim that the iPhone really isn't going after the Blackberry market, the iPhone 2.0 software adds ActiveSync features that pretty much add up to a neon sign flashing WE ARE GOING AFTER THE BLACKBERRY MARKET. Yes, you can point to RIM's much greater enterprise market share and how they "understand" the business market in ways Apple doesn't, but y'know, ask Quark how well that attitude worked for them in their competition with Adobe InDesign in the desktop publishing market. Quark went from a share far greater than RIM's to being the underdog, and is steadily heading toward the "Whatever happened to?" category. With the Thunder, RIM is demonstrating that they understand that just saying "Well, we're *Blackberry* and they're not!" ain't gonna cut it in the long run. And good for them. As much as I like Apple products, Steve Jobs needs competitors capable of whacking him in the butt on a regular basis.

Hear that sound? That's Steve Jobs and the iPhone team laughing their asses off after seeing this article. LOL

Does it have 3D accelerometers?
Full 3D tilt sensors? (or does it just tell portrait form landscape)
CoreAnimation capabilities?
3D graphics capabilities?
A camera? ("Business users don't need cameras!" - what a total crock)
A sleek industrial design?

No? Thought not.

It is just not an iPhone competitor. It may have it's little niche for business users and such, but it won't be touched by the same people looking at an iPhone.

There is a need for blackberry her in Denmark. The problem have been the lack of danish keyboard and language.

I hope they will consider this.

Also I think the new phone would benefit with a 3 mpixel camera (so I can add pictures of products to my e-mail and mms)
Another thing would be a nice media thing, so I would be able to watch movies or television and hear radio at airports and on planes.
GPS would be nice when travelling to different cities.

Games - the phone should be able to play "thinking" games, as I use this to pass time , also at airports or waiting at som conference.

I know you have all the business applications, so I will not mention them.

Last please please let it have or good battery life or even better the possibility to use ordinary aa or aaa batteries. The most annoying thing with smartphones are running out of juice when you really need to call.

Regards
From
Denmark

This unit doesn't seem to have the trackball like every blackberry since the 8100. Since they have the Answer, Hang-up, Back, and BBerry buttons, I can't imagine them going without it. What would they do? go back to the scroll wheel? Ee Gads. I know that touch is a sufficient input method, but if you've got the other buttons, why not include the Ball and Butter of the newly popular BBerry line?

Why did it take apple to invent something like the iPhone? It seems like apple is always the one to come out with the cool looking, slick operating device first and then everyone rips them off. Hence, no matter how good this is, it will always be called an iPhone rip off. I am not a big conspiracy guy - wait I am!, but it looks like all the giants work with apple. There is NO POSSIBLE WAY apple is that cutting edge and that quick to think of all this stuff first! If apple is that good, than who are the other companies employing in there developement departments???

once they make the keyboard "sexier" this phone will be amazing... i hope that it ends up running on a 4G, and they really need to have a full-QWERTY keyboard in portrait mode too.

once they make the keyboard "sexier" this phone will be amazing... i hope that it ends up running on a 4G, and they really need to have a full-QWERTY keyboard in portrait mode too.

Puh-lease!

The touchscreen BlackBerry may just one-up the iPhone? In your dreams, buddy! CrackBerrys are just that... they're made for CrackHeads! Cheap and flimsy. Look at the keyboard when it's in the upright position... it doesn't even have all of the letters on the keyboard! Gimped!

Same engine as the iPhone with a glass screen? COPY! WANNA-BE! PSEUDO-IPHONE! NO PHONE has been able to copy the smooth, intuitive look, feel and interface of the iPhone 3G and it will stay ahead of every other phone being released in the market for the next 2 years! Mark my words!

Ahh When are we gonna get some news about the Thunder, i'm dyin here, its been forever. Last I heard was a rumored October 13th release date. I check crackberry and engadget several times a day! Need my crack.

Also, when this product launches, there will be an option to Customize the back of your Thunder. You will be able to upload photos, sayings, Logos, etc. To a website, and order battery panels with your uploaded images, printed directly on the metal battery case- not a cheap sticker like some other companies offer. Should be a pretty popular option.

GIVE BLACKBERRY A BREAK, GEEZ!

If a company is going to make a touchscreen phone, what shape would be the best? A rectangularish one, no? As most phones are. And it would have to be big enough for people to not get so frustrated typing on a tiny screen. So yes, it takes the same shape as an iPhone, but clearly, BlackBerry is its own company. It has its own functions. You try thinking of a better shape for a touchscreen phone and sell it to the public. Then people can give you credit. But don't cry like a baby about how "BlackBerry is copying the iPhone."

AND the whole iPod thing. Okay, the only reason iPods are still popular are because most people who you see iPods with are students. And half of these students are GIRLS who don't know jack about technology and buy whatever's in at the moment. Actually, it doesn't even have to do with technology. Most girls are trained to follow the crowd. For example, go to a university campus, and count the number of girls wearing white v-neck t-shirts and Nike shorts. IT IS RIDICULOUS. My friend is on her 5th iPod because iPods break easily, but Apple is more than willing to replace it for you. IT'S ALL A CULT!!!!

I'm not saying Apple products are qualified. Apple just knows what the public would like. Good-looking technology.

It seems that most of the posts on here are from CHILDREN just playing grown up. Come back when you have grown up.

i just want a phone that will be able to work with video cell phones and home video homes.
If thunder can do that, I'm in.\
Maurice

I think the Blackberry Thunder will still sale well even though it seems to be a copy of the Apple IPhone. There are many loyal customers who prefer their Blackberries over the IPhone due to different applications and features. I'm a blackberry user and was considering buying an IPhone later on this year, but with the Blackberry Thunder on the way I maybe leaning towards get that then the IPhone, since I'm already familar, comfortable, and satisfied with RIM's previous phones.

Why you all act like adults and politely either accept or reject someone's opinion from their viewpoint. In otherwise STOP acting like Junior Highers.

ill admit using that keyboard is a little bit tough(on the iphone) shit even trying to play some of the games is tough too. They are fast as hell, but i am not complaining, i love carrying my porn with me. :)

sorry to burst your peoples bubble, but this is the Blackberry Storm not the Blackberry Thunder. If you don't believe me, compare them. Later bezzys.

I know the code name for the storm was thunder. But I aslo heard that the Storm for Alltel will be comming out before February. Does anyone have any info? Have you heard anything regaurding this?

i was just wondering if it is going to be for more carriers than just verizon?

This phone looks just like a blackberry storm to me, so i dont get the big deal about it...wake up ppl