Pictures of the BlackBerry "Storm 2" surface

CrackBerry.com managed to get themselves some pictures of the successor to the BlackBerry Storm, the BlackBerry Storm 2, codenamed "Oden". This comes just days after Research In Motion's CEO Jim Balsillie confirmed that they were planning the next generation Storm.

Images from CrackBerry.com

As is apparent from the above pictures, the BlackBerry Storm 2 retains the general appearance of the original Storm, but is much thinner. It features what appears to be touch sensitive controls which replace the hard buttons under the touch screen on the original Storm. It also has a 3.2 MP camera with auto focus. According to Engadget, the pictured model is a GSM version. Unconfirmed features include Wi-Fi, GPS and a supposedly "new approach to text entry".

The original Storm was considered to be a top seller for Verizon. But the handset drew some fierce criticism from the community over its unique touch screen implementation and general usability problems.

Also watch out for the other upcoming BlackBerry handsets: Onyx and Gemini.

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I liked the original Storm! The only real beef I had with it was the lack of WiFi. As long as RIM remembers to put in Wi-Fi this time around and not stray too much from the original design (as it appears to be), it'll hold its own against the iPhone.

Ah yes, but in the UK they have also chosen the carrier with the worst data network. O2 are awful, with patchy 3G coverage in many places, and a badly throttled network. I was doing some work with Vodafone for my company and they got me to try my Blackberry (unlocked) on a Voda SIM and the performance was consoderably better. It never lost 3G, it never dropped calls, the call quality was much better. If I could afford to run a Voda data plan as well as paying off the O2 one I would.

I loves me some competition in the marketplace.

Apple squandered a two year market lead by going with a single-source vendor...and one universally despised at that. That's going to go down in history as one of the biggest business mistakes ever.

There is a world outside the US mind.

I think Apple have done well. The first iPhone was really expensive, and the early adopters got that.

The 3G was cheaper, better and expanded throughout the World, at a price pretty much everyone can afford and the result is it seems like every other person here in the UK has an iPhone.

If they split the new iPhone into two or more products, then the lower end one will probably be free on UK contracts and in other places (Probably not the US because carriers don't tend to substidise?).

AT&T is far from being "universally despised". It is also one of only two nation-wide carriers in the US (along with T-Mobile) using GSM, which the iPhone needed if it was going to be marketed outside the US.