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BlackBerry Storm shows that touch phones are the new flip phones

October 8, 2008 | 11:24 am

BlackBerry Storm There was a time when anybody who was anyone had a flip phone. The phone rings, you flip it open and answer it much in the same manner you would flip a switch blade. How cool.

These days, touch phones seem to be the new arbiter of cool. Even Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry, is getting into the game. Today, the company unveiled the BlackBerry Storm, a touch-screen Blackberry that the company is calling "the world's first 'clickable' touch-screen." The screen responds kind of like a keyboard: It compresses when you touch it so it feels a little like you're typing -- on a really small keyboard that doesn't actually have keys.

The phone, which is available only on the Verizon Wireless network, will come out sometime in the next year, according to a Verizon spokesman. He didn't know how much the Storm would cost.

Other non-iPhone touch screens that have come out in the last year, include the Samsung Instinct and the LG Vu. We'll probably see even more in the coming year as this method of navigating the phone continues to gain in popularity, according to a recent story by The Times' Michelle Quinn:

The number of cellphones with touch screens is expected to triple by 2010, to 362 million from 120 million last year, research firm ISuppli Corp. said. In comparison, cellphones without touch screens are expected to increase by only 6%, to 1.12 billion from 1.05 billion.

Problem is, when everyone has one, they probably won't be so cool anymore. So what's going to be the next new must-have cellphone? A cellphone the size of a pencil, perhaps? Let us know if you have any ideas.

-- Alana Semuels

Photo: BlackBerry Storm. Credit: Verizon Wireless

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