I'm in Orlando attending RIM's capital markets day. The first press release to hit the wires this morning was the much-anticipated BlackBerry Bold 9900. It won't come out until the summer (probably August), but I think it will be a great seller for three reasons.
1) Design -- It sports the design of the old Bold 9000 that so many people absolutely loved. It's also the thinnest BlackBerry yet at 10.5 mm.
2) Hybrid -- This is the first ever BlackBerry to feature a touch screen and a physical keyboard in a fixed form factor (not a slider like the Torch). People have been wanting a device like this for a long time. Finally, RIM is delivering.
3) Specs -- It features more impressive hardware and the new BlackBerry 7 OS. Hardware geeks love to talk about specs, but most consumers just care about how the device works (or doesn't work). I haven't had a chance to play with BlackBerry 7 yet, but I'm told that it is a much smoother experience than BlackBerry 6, especially with the touch screen interface.
Today should be interesting.
Chris Umiastowski spent over a decade working as a technology analyst on Bay Street. He now works as an independent analyst and strategy consultant.
The author owns shares in RIM, Apple and Google.