Blackberry is going to take the world by storm. Or more accurately “BLACKBERRY TAKES THE WORLD BY STORM WITH VERIZON WIRELESS AND VODAFONE,” which is what the press release headline said. You know the people who wrote that thought they were being really clever–the new Blackberry is named Storm.
It is a little hard to get excited about this, even if it is a big deal. Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and Research in Motion have announced that the BlackBerry Storm will be available later this year, exclusively to Verizon Wireless customers in the United States and Vodafone customers in Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand. It is just hard to get excited about another big deal in phones after the arrival of the second-generation iPhone earlier this year, the announcement of the release of the Google Android-powered Dream phone, now known as the T-Mobile G1 (coming later this month), and the most recent announcement that Microsoft is adding Zune functionality to Windows Mobile smartphones.
This isn’t to say that the Storm isn’t a big deal. In fact, if this announcement came on a slow news day it would probably be even more exciting. Phones are still something to get excited about. The fact that we can make phone calls while walking on the street should seem like a big deal. This was nearly impossible 30 years ago–so much so that even science-fiction authors missed the boat. Even the iconic cyberpunk authors such as William Gibson and Bruce Sterling had their characters using payphones. Sure those payphones had video screens, but hardly a mobile phone is in sight. The concept of mobile communication was foreseen by Chester Gould, creator of Dick Tracy, but hardly given any thought by the following generations of writers.
Even when mobile phones arrived on the scene in the 1980s they were considered devices that would never be affordable for average users. Now, all school kids have phones! This makes announcements that a storm-or rather the Storm-is coming seems about as exciting as “cat stuck in tree.” At least “man bites dog” has some blood and gore that will look good on action news.
And while I’m at it, what’s with all the one-word names for phones these days. OK, it is probably better than saying, “look at my new Lgsumg VX85,” but now we have phones such as the G1, aka Dream/aka Android. Of course there is the iPhone, and while I personally have said iEnough more than once, the credit for these single named phones is owed to the Motorola Roker and LG Chocolate. Now we have to put up with Storm and Dash.
This is reminiscent to early 1990s when all the Seattle bands and all the Manchester, England bands had names like Curve, Ride, Soundgarden, Nirvana and Lush. So if someone wanted to cash in they’d start to trademark all the cool words like Runner, Speed, Grid, Sprint (I guess the last one is already used).
On that note, I have some trademark searches to do! Tune in tomorrow and I’ll actually provide some details on the Storm.