The Competition: BlackBerry Storm 2 - Piezo-Electric Boogaloo!

Bla1ze over at has posted up a video by Salomondrin that shows off and explains the BlackBerry Storm 2's new "piezo electric" screen technology. In a nutshell, when the Storm 2 is off, the screen is hard just like an iPhone. When the Storm 2 is on, however, it becomes like a sponge beneath a screen coating, so a user can "push" into it to register a click, double-click, or multi-clicks.

Looks nifty, and it will likely make the Storm 2 much more palatable than the Storm 1 to die-hard QUERTY CrackBerrians. iPhone users? Well, I like tapping, swiping, pinching, etc. so I'm not click dependent, and at the end of the day, it's the OS behind the input method(s) that Apple's nailed oh-so-elegantly for me.

Only time, hands-on, and perhaps this year's Round Robin will tell!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • It won't do as well as the iPhone. The iPhone already has it's place in history and won't lose it anytime soon at the rate apples releasing new models.
    And first:)
  • My biggest issue with the BB is the clumsy OS and memory architecture, and the dependence on RIM's network as middleware.
    Then again a gazilliin users think those two things are BB's greatest strength.
    BB FTW!
  • @ smschrist2......Could not agree with you's funny now that RIM, Palm and other phones makers are in a rush to develop their products.... Before they were slow as a turtle...
  • I guess I don't understand what they're even going for. If you like a physical keyboard, you like it because you can feel the individual buttons as your fingers glide over them. The feeling of the buttons (generally, a couple have raised dots to identify "home" keys) is what differentiates one letter from another. The sensation of pushing may be gratifying, but it's a distant second from the importance of individual buttons for each letter. Pushing one giant, undifferentiated button just strikes me as more work with little to no benefit.
    Am I missing something?
  • Sponge Bob Square Screen! HA!!! Blackberry should just give it up already with the "innovative" ideas! First it was the horrid "clickable touchscreen" that was prefaced as the next new technology to "take the world by Storm"! Uh... yeah... Now it's the soggy, oh, sorry, spongy screen that seems like it's out of some science fiction movie... How much do you wanna bet it'll be another BIG FAT FAIL!? Blackberry, just stick to doing what you do best... crappy interfaces... oh, sorry again... "useful mobile tools for the business world" rolls eyes
  • Everybody I talk to who already has a BB for business says they don't plan on switching to an iPhone anytime soon. Reasons being is that the BB is a superior messaging device....or so they say. I'm probably one of the few exceptions that use an iPhone for business....and play.
    In saying all that, why would RIM go after another part of the market? Sure they'd like to be the king of the mountain but I think they should stick to their strengths instead of risking another failure in the touchscreen market.
  • @Luis
    How was palm rushing to deliver new products? The pre was originally scheduled for 2007 release it didn't come out until june 2009. So don't include palm in any rush because they took their sweet time and now have the 2nd best os and phone on the market today.
  • Eh RIM The iPhone's correction / spelling dictionary is bar none...
    Notice how RIM grows bigger because of "quantity" sales? Verizon BOGO offer helps....
    The put a lot of hardware out , but the have same OS so they appear to be innovating when all they are doing is putting lipstick on a pig... same OS and a model every month
  • @Raffy
    LMAO - putting lipstick on a pig
    So does that mean every BB user is in hog heaven or that they're just pigs lead to the slaugher? ;D
  • @dexter haha..touché!
  • @Raffy
    Obviously you havent used the Android correction/spelling.
    It really does exceed the iPhone's.
    And HTC's Android dictionary exceeds Android's stock dictionary.
  • Wow! I think that is the longest string of fanboy comments I have ever seen. I'm pretty sure nobody's market share in anything is ever safe. I'm sure you guys were all on the Motorola Razr blogs a few years back chumming it up about how great Motorola is and how other companies shouldn't even try.
    Fanboyism is funny to watch...
  • P.S. Piezo is spelled with an 'ie'. Sorry to be a spelling Nazi...
  • @ Appleking : so what??? they did because they knew the iphone was coming out in 2007....ohh!!! all of a sudden Palm changed its OS after 10 years of the same old and boring stuff....yeahh right ...
  • Piezo-Electric Boogaloo. Nice, Rene. Since Breakin' 2 Electric Boogaloo was released in 1984 you would have to be well into your 40's to get the reference.
  • @luis
    palm sayed in 2006 that they were creating a linux based os. palm was king back then they didnt give a rats ass about apple.
  • That video was about as enlightening and accurate as a two year old explaining where electricity comes from.
    Clearly the presenter had no clue how it workd or what Piezo-Electric really means.
  • iphone are phone kids... blackberrys are for grown men.
  • Call me a fanboy, but I just think Blackberry is trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. But in any case, this does look like a nice phone if you are into Blackberrys, certainly better than the Storm 1. But I still don't think the clicking aspect actually helps anything. If you can't feel keys with your fingers BEFORE you press, then it's a touch screen and there will be a learning curve.
  • Blackberry does nor need to change the OS. It already has copy and paste mms tethering 3g push email and a secure os and had had them fir years. Apple had had to "innovate" to add these basic features and still does not have all of them right.
    What apple has is a better browser a dummed down os and better marketing.
    RIM can stop "pretending" that bb us a consumer device when apple does thevsame thing about business. I think we all know that's never gonna happen! Buth companies see stretching those deffinitions and everyone benefits.
    To those that may wonder; in a longtime bb user who now has a 3gs as an additional device. I basically use the 3gs for some of my web surfing and a few apps but the blackberry when I want to actually get things done.
  • Sorry for the typos in me previous post. I an using my iPhone to type thes ;-)
  • Why are people so competitive about their PHONES?
    Mine's better! No, mine's better! How about we all get a life?
    Truth is, the iPhone was good for everyone because it raised the bar...and competition is good.
  • You guys are missing a big point (as is the video reviewer)...The great thing about being able to press in the screen is that it disconnects the touching of the screen to the selection process (pressing the screen). For example, what this does is make it possible to highlight a link in the crappy blackberry browser without clicking on it.
    I think this paradigm is what is very exciting about this technology and could lead to some cool new HCI concepts.
  • That video made no sense at all. OK, so I get that the screen is soft. What difference does it make what the screen feels like when you have the phone off? How does this help you when you can't feel any buttons? You still don't know where the target is. The only way that this resembles real buttons is that you can rest your fingers on them without pushing down.
    I love how everyone who sees a touch screen device thinks that its a only a matter of time before it becomes an iPhone.
  • @Kd78:
    Yes, you've hit the nail on the head exactly. Its more like a mouse interface than the iPhone. (As was the first storm). But in addition, it Might be that the Storm2 can sense WHERE you push (whereas the first Storm couldn't).
    If so, its another range of motion, degree of freedom, whatever, than the iPhone.
    Its an interesting approach. And people on both sides need to keep their inner fanboy in check until we have had time to see how it works in real life.
  • @Tim - well - no I won't...
    This may be interesting. Touch without click and then "feel" the click. But once I mastered touch and typing on the screen it's not something I feel needs to be fixed. But as a marketing thing towards QWERTY die hards this may be something. Maybe...
  • I believe it's QWERTY, not QUERTY ;)
  • @Jim
    u must be in the kid category cause u can not write. U thought u could go threw life without a high school diploma lol lol. U r dummer then a bag of rocks lol.
  • Unrelated to the topic, but what I find most interesting is how often people like to bring up the point that it took Apple so long to develop copy/paste but fail to acknowledge that it is a better implementation than the competitors'.
    Can a BB copy/paste words and images simultaneously? What about from the web browser? Can the Palm Pre? That's right... they sure can't.
  • @Andrew:
    Apple so long to develop copy/paste but fail to acknowledge that it is a better implementation than the competitors’.
    Apple ripped off copy paste from QuickOffice. It had copy paste two whole releases prior to Apple, and apple essentially adopted exactly what QuickOffice did.
    So, no, they didn't do it better, they just did it globally, whereas QuickOffice could only copy paste between two or more documents within QuickOffice.
  • It's all personal preference. I seen people who love'storm 1's clicking screen and hate full touch screen also other way around. I love the idea of storm 2 because while you scrolling up and down on a web page how many times ending up hitting a link you didn't want to. Clearly the guy on the video was some one got hold of a storm 2 and didn't know much about the concept behind it. I won't give up my iPhone for any other phone but I'll have to agree that the blacberry has a better email server which might be a better choice for business...
  • @ Distance
    i've hadthe 3gs for a month now which should be more than sufficient to "master" the touch screen. Took me half the time to master the Storms touch scren. It was slightly slower but more accurate.
  • @CJ:
    Lot of people who got a blackberry before the iPhone and never try to use an iPhone. Most of the complains about the iPhone is not the phone it self it's the network. If verizon will get the iPhone and sell as much as Att they migh have the same problems. The network is not good enough to support 6 million iPhones...
  • @icebike My comment had nothing to do with QuickOffice; rather, it was directed at rival phone makers, which I think was fairly obvious.
  • @Andrew I think you're missing the point that icebike was making that Apple didn't actually innovate over competitors with their copy/paste, they just ripped it off from someone else. Not that Apple is the first company guilty of this...
  • Never thought blogging could be soo fun and interesting. Man you know how to do it brother.