Touchscreen BlackBerry Nicknamed A.K... Apple Killer?!

By Kevin Michaluk on 28 Apr 2008 09:58 am EDT

Apple Killer

The New York Times published an article yesterday, BlackBerry's Quest: Fend Off the iPhone. For the most part the the story doesn't offer any ground breaking news or rumor us CrackBerrys haven't heard before, but does include a an interesting uncited reference:

..two independent developers writing software for coming R.I.M. devices say that a touch-screen BlackBerry is in the works, and that R.I.M. engineers privately refer to it as the A.K. — for “Apple Killer.” 

I'm sure A.K. would be the private, joked-around nickname for the touchscreen device RIM has in development, though it would be PRETTY COOL if that was the company's official code name for it. I can just picture a BlackBerry dressed as Rambo carrying an A.K.47 and hunting down iPhones.

While no specific information was released in regards to RIM's future devices, the article does provide insight into RIM's take on smartphone demands and some reassurance that a touchscreen BlackBerry is something we may be seeing sooner than later:

THERE’S a reason that R.I.M. is averse to the iPhone’s glass pad. “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.”

Mr. Lazaridis thinks that e-mail-dependent BlackBerry owners demand the reliability and tactile feedback of a keyboard. But, despite his critique of the iPhone, he does not dismiss the possibility that R.I.M. may itself one day sell a touch-screen phone, aimed specifically at consumers without the e-mail demands of BlackBerry’s core users."

Mr. Lazaridis says only that “I wouldn’t underestimate the amount of research we’ve done on user interfaces and technologies. We are not afraid to reinvent ourselves.”

I'll reserve my judgement as to whether or not I'd like a touchscreen BlackBerry until I actually get to use one. I'm of the belief that whatever RIM does, they do pretty darn well. The bigger issue for me is When Will It Be Available?! It seems to me an evolutionary operating system update like 4.5 is taking forever to release... are we looking at 2008, early 2009 or is it going to be 2010 before A.K. hits the market?

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

Touchscreen BlackBerry Nicknamed A.K... Apple Killer?!


The Apple phone is not for all and neither is the form factor or the implied benefits. Its simple any phone could be a direct competitor if the offering was an easy to use interface, offered real multimedia features like Apple phone currently does. RIM has clearly not focused on these needs and I and many, many others could care less about them as well. Show me who in the fortune 1000 corporations at the high executive level is going to use their Apple phone instead of a blackberry.

Its my phone, email contacts, calendar its not my ipod and thats the way I want it.

AK is going to be the actual release name. They were going to put huge IPHONE and tiny (killer) right smack on the front of the device and actually try to sell it as an Apple tic-tactile keyboard'ed iPhone, but we know how litigious El Jobso can be. So now they're striking some deal with Sir Paul to use the Apple (Records, also in tiny 3pt Helvetica) (Killer) name instead, hoping for the same results.

Apparently the overly fashion-conscious, uber-trendy, techlexic would-be-iPhone buyers market is HUGE, and RIM is going to milk it for every (Canadian) dime they can get.

(Warranty void if screen is touched, or device is plugged into iTunes, 'natch).

(And yes, this will be made fun of in the next edition of This Week in Smartphones... (cheap plug: )

I bought the theme from Handango...I have not been able to upload it to my device, curve 8300. It tells me that the file extension is not recognized. It also tells me that there is no application to be loaded. I went on the web site and my understanding was that I needed to upgrade my desktop manager to 4.3. I did, but still the file is not recognized and i cannot download it to my berry. What am I doing wrong?