New BlackBerry Torch rivals iPhone

A new arrival on the smartphone scene may be set to rival the Apple iPhone and Google Android phones. It is the BlackBerry Torch and it goes on sale in the US on August 12th.

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Its creators, Research in Motion, have developed a new operating system for the phone and a faster and easier to use we browser. Users will be able to type out messages on either the slide-out keyboard or the touch screen. It has a new 5 megapixel camera with a flash and a built-in GPS for applications that require the phone's location.

The new operating system incorporates social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter with its own BlackBerry Messenger service.

While RIM hope this new phone will offer a strong rival to the iPhone and Android phones, many experts are concerned that they have not done enough to provide strong competition.

NPD analyst Ross Rubin said: "The operating system has some new touches and integration, but there's nothing here that really represents a leap forward beyond what others are providing."

However, many people were impressed with the new model and operating system.

Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu said: "It really closes the gap with Android and iPhone -- probably more Android, because Apple really offers something unique. But RIM really overhauled the user interface. I think they've regained their No. 2 position in terms of technology."

The BlackBerry Torch's developers are positive about the new product.

Mike Lazaridis, RIM's president and co-chief executive, said: "This is one of the most important product introductions in our history. It's a really special product because so much new goodness has been added to it."

It is not certain when the Torch will be available in the UK.

Do you intend to upgrade to the new BlackBerry Torch? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.