BlackBerry Curve 9300 “Kepler”

Research In Motion Ltd.’s (RIM) upcoming new smartphone, the BlackBerry Curve 9300 “Kepler” might provide the North American sales boost that the company has been looking for. Why? Three points:

  1. -       BlackBerry OS 6
  2. -       A new streaming social media feed
  3. -       The price point (expected to be between $99 and $149)

BlackBerrys are no longer just for business users anymore, and since the Kepler is a fully functional smartphone with a BlackBerry pedigree for a pretty low price, expect the phone to become popular among younger users. Remember back when kids first started to get cell phones? Well now kids want smartphones.

Facebook and social media have started to infiltrate every aspect of our culture, and since OS 6 promises a user experience that combines some of the better aspects of phones like the now discontinued Kin with all of that fabled BlackBerry functionality and a much better web browser (Webkit based like the iPhone’s and Android OS’s), expect the phone to explode in popularity. It may become the smartphone for anyone who does not want to have to sell a limb just to be able to use Twitter and check their friends’ Facebook pages.

Before you get up in arms over the suggestion that one of RIM’s phones is best suited for young people, remember that 50% of RIM’s North American customers are not corporate users. Half of their phones are in the hands of individuals who spend their time checking their Facebook wall, sending text messages, and occasionally taking a call instead of going CrackBerry over their multiple email accounts.

RIM’s phones have QWERTY keyboards that were originally designed for composing emails on. Who is to say that those same QWERTY keyboards are not just the perfect thing for writing out hundreds of text messages a day or posting constant status updates? If a company makes a good enough product, users will find uses that the product was not necessarily designed for. The BlackBerry is a product like that. It is nice to see that RIM has realized it too.

Will you consider switching to a BlackBerry 9300 Kepler (more details on the smartphone here) from a traditional phone when it comes out? Going to pick one up for your son or daughter who keeps bugging you for a “cool” phone? They are status symbols now you know. Shout out and tell me what you are thinking.

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