Research in Motion is rumored to be expanding its BlackBerry Torch franchise with a slimmer entry level model. While the Torch is basically a high-end model now that takes design cues from its high-end BlackBerry Bold franchise, an entry-level torch could more closely resemble a consumer-oriented BlackBerry Curve or Pearl.
Details on the model are scarce right now, but a possible candidate for an entry-level Torch could include a SureType, two-letter per key, keyboard from the Pearl or a more clicky, consumer oriented Curve keyboard. Both the Curve and the Pearl have a lower resolution QVGA touchscreen (versus the HVGA display found on the Bold and Torch lines right now), and the lower-resolution screen could be a candidate for an entry level model. The cheaper model, to keep prices competitive, could also eschew a touchscreen, favoring a navigation mechanism that’s strictly controlled by the optical touchpad as the BlackBerry 6 operating system that debuted on the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is both geared for touch and non-touch navigation.
As RIM tries to tackle more form factors, after having released an attractive clamshell model called the Blackberry Style on Sprint’s Now Network, a low-end slider can appeal to more consumers. However, as the slider market had been the appeal of consumer feature phones the past couple years, we’re beginning to see a shift towards touchscreen phones with cheap Android phones paving the way. It’s unclear if RIM can create demand for a slider after the fad’s starting to go away, but time will tell. More importantly, it’s also unclear if these rumors will materialize into a commercial product.
Via: BB Leaks