His co-CEO at RIM, Mike Lazaridis, may have described the company’s BlackBerry smartphones as “netbooks … just smaller“, but according to Jim Balsillie we shouldn’t expect to see anything more traditionally netbook-shaped bearing the BlackBerry logo. While industry rivals such as Nokia are tipped to be looking to netbooks as the next wave of cellular-enabled devices, Balsillie says RIM are focusing on devices “you can hold up to your ear and clip onto your belt.”
While the co-CEO recognizes that form-factor “is a personal preference”, he expects anything from RIM to have all-day battery life. Altogether, that presents “very tight systems constraints for a netbook.”
Instead, Balsillie expects wirelessly-connected peripherals such as keyboards and secondary screens to become available, to cater to user’s desires for larger input and display systems. They would be modular, rather than integrated with the BlackBerry phone itself, and likely have their own power supply rather than draw from the smartphone.