BlackBerry Storm: The netbook redefined?

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Research In Motion’s founder and co-CEO, Mike Lazaridis, has cleared up some non-existent confusion about his company’s first touch screen device, the Stormit’s a netbook.

Wait, what? Sorry, can you repeat that? I must have misheard you Mr. co-CEO.

In a recent interview, when asked “Would you consider Netbooks as your competitors?,” Mr. Lazaridis responded:

No, I think I can put Netbooks in here [referring to the BlackBerry Storm]. These are Netbooks. They are just smaller.

Unfortunately, there were no follow-ups to this confusing declaration.  Apparently, Lazaridis defines ‘netbook’ differently (netbook = smartphone?) than the rest of the us (see Wikipedia: A netbook is a light-weight, low-cost, energy-efficient, highly portable laptop…).  One could more reasonably argue that the Bold or other qwerty-equipped BlackBerry devices more directly resemble netbooks, albeit in a non-clamshell, 1/3 the size screen kinda way.

But it all makes just a tad more sense (maybe) if you consider some of Lazaridis’ earlier comments in the interview:

We must always work within the laws of physics and ergonomics of small handheld wireless devices with respect to processor speed, display and keyboard size, weight, cost, battery life, radio bandwidth, network capacity and latency.

These “limitations” are the same ones faced by netbook manufacturers.  However, it still doesn’t follow that the Storm, a tactile keyboard-less non-laptop mobile phone, would fall under the netbook umbrella.  It’s sorta like describing the Internet as a series of tubes — a sort of half-truth/lay understanding; although that claim at least has some merit to it. There are, after all, tubes involved.

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