Toronto: To pitch itself in direct competition with Apple's iPhone3 and woo general consumers, Canadian wireless giant Research in Motion (RIM) unveiled its much-expected first clickable touch-screen BlackBerry Storm.
The Waterloo-based wireless major said the new device would be available exclusively to Verizon customers in the US and Vodafone customers in Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand in the autumn.
The announcement comes within days after RIM shares took a massive hit on the Toronto Stock Exchange after it reported less-than-expected profits.
RIM said its new revolutionary touch-screen is much like a physical keyboard and supports single-touch, multi-touch and gestures for efficient application navigation.
It said the user distinctly feels the screen being pressed and released with a gentle "click" similar to the feeling of a key on a physical keyboard or a button on a mouse.
Other features include a built-in accelerometer that allows the touch-screen to automatically switch between landscape mode and portrait mode when the user rotates the handset.
RIM said navigating web sites is fast and easy with the Storm's touch-screen interface that lets users double tap to zoom in and slide their fingers to scroll and pan.
"We are proud to introduce the first touch-screen based BlackBerry smartphone together with Verizon Wireless and Vodafone," said Mike Lazaridis, RIM's president and co-CEO.
"The BlackBerry Storm is a revolutionary touch-screen smartphone that meets both the communications and multimedia needs of customers and solves the longstanding problem associated with typing on traditional touch-screens.
"Consumers and business customers alike will appreciate this unique combination of a large and vibrant screen with a truly tactile touch interface," he said.