Can RIM's 2011 BlackBerry line-up hold off iPhone 5?

We're likely only a month or two away from Apple announcing iPhone 5 but RIM is already launching their 2011 BlackBerry lineup, including the first BlackBerry Bold with a touch screen, and not one but two BlackBerry Torches -- an update to the original slider and new, Storm-replacing, touch screen only slab.

They've got higher resolution screens, NFC options, voice, search, GPU-enhanced Liquid Graphics fluidity, BBM 6, and BlackBerry OS 7. But are they enough to hold off the coming iPhone 5 onslaught?

Jump over to our sibling site,, for complete coverage and join us tomorrow for some Mobile Nations-style round-table discussion!


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Can RIM's 2011 BlackBerry line-up hold off iPhone 5?


I have Only one thing to say about this, the people that don't have an iPhone; "WANT AN IPHONE"

Are you saying...
"There are three kinds of people in this world. Those with iPhones, those who can't afford iPhones and those who don't know what they're missing out on" ?

"But are they enough to hold off the coming iPhone 5 onslaught?"
Are they really meant to? Things will be faster, look nicer but deep down -- it's still the same BB OS. Until RIM rolls out QNX on smartphones it's just groundwork.

I agree with Bla1ze, the new devices aren't meant to make "iPhone" users switch or "Android" users or bring down the success for Apple nor Google. RIM knows their limits, they are just trying to put out better products for their Customers because that is their focus, nothing more, nothing less. I do have to give Apple their props for good products but their are some "iPhone" users out there that are brain washed and stuck up (again, this is not meant for everyone) this is what I've observed in some situations. I'm happy with me new devices, its no Retina Display but I'll still buy it.

I agree. RIM's fanbase/users is still a lot worldwide despite what the media has been saying. They need to offer new things for them.

I think therein lies the problem. Releasing 7 phones (which won't run the QNX OS) that are running an OS that is going to be dumped in less than a year because they are groundwork is exactly RIM's problem.
The QNX OS will be very good, but if everyone has moved on because of the sour taste in their mouths from all of this, or because they can't get the new phones because they just bought an already outdated OS7 device, it won't matter how good the OS is.

The keyboard on the 9900 is the best I've ever used. Spectacular; beats any previous BlackBerry hands down. NFC has interesting legs in terms of building access, replacing those old ASSA cards requiring all sorts of bureaucratic administration. I just hope that BlackBerry makes a non-camera version available, so you are allowed to use the device at work.

I have a White iPhone 4 32gb and I'm pretty happy with it. The OS doesn't look like a soggy sad little java application from the mid 90s and the browser it responsive and fast. RIM is a company now for government types, idiots who think BBM is completely secure [think again] and soggy grandpas who don't know what a real cell phone is.

Is it just me or are all smartphones starting to look the same? That Blackberry looks fast, but aside from speed, nothing special. Although, honestly, no one's put out anything special in a while. I am happy for RIM - this looks like a phone that I could actually see myself buying.

HA HA HA HA lol lol lol lmao. this is a joke right? did rim fix the battery pull out? 768 for OS and apps = epic fail. please single ass processor, come on. my iPhone 4 with cydia speed intensifier is a lot faster btw is a year old. mean they are using old fashion tech. please give me a break. i almost forgot not front camera, for skype, yahoo and tango video calls another epic fail...! seems like RIM don't respect their followers.
my 2 cents

as a longtime bb user, (on here because i do like iphones and own a ipad) the pricing on these new phones is going to make me switch, 250 for that new bold that wont run next years OS? please, rim did that to me last year when i got the torch, now just have to wait out for the iphone 5

Dear TIPB, I would like more iPhone news. If I wanted BB news, I'd go to crackberry, which you provide a wonderful link to at the bottom. Thank you, and good day.

Google had many device manufactures make different style phones so they could test Android on it. Oh that is a pic is based off the Moto Q, but good try with the BB reference.

Idk if this is true and please don't bash me but isn't rim releasing it's bbm service to apple and android devices ? If so what's the point of owning a bb anymore ?

I must say this new BB Bold is probably the only BB I've seen that I would consider getting instead of the iPhone 5 to replace my iPhone 4. I always did love the Bold 9000 form factor. The new Bold will be something I keep an eye on.

Recently switching from a BB to an Iphone I can tell you this. Nothing beats the BB for the work environment. You like to play games on your phone...Yes get an I phone. But for those of us who actually type emails, set up calender appointments linked to our outlook calenders at work. The BB just does it so much better. Thats the bottomline. Thought Id give the I phone a try..Ehhhh

I like iphone. it's best though not knowing all it's features yet having it a week ago but there is a need of every body which makes one's important over other.