The BlackBerry will have a faster browser for Internet surfing with its new operating system as the competition to win consumers continues between Research In Motion (TSX: RIM) and iPhone maker Apple.
RIM showed off its new BlackBerry operating system to analysts in a video with music by the Black Eyed Peas at its annual trade show in Florida in Tuesday.
Mackie Research Capital analyst Nick Agostino said the new operating system puts the RIM device on par with the iPhone for ease of use.
“The demonstration they made would lead you to believe that they've levelled that playing field,” said Agostino, who attended RIM's trade show in Orlando.
Analysts have often knocked the BlackBerry for a clunky, slow web browsing experience.
PCMag analyst Sascha Segan noted the BlackBerry now has a “modern” web browser that uses the same core technology that's in Apple, Android and Nokia smartphone browsers.
“The new web browser is going to improve RIM's position somewhat,” Segan said. “This means that hopefully with BlackBerry 6.0 that you're going to have a full desktop-like web experience.”
However, Segan noted the new operating system still lacks enough appeal for developers to create consumer applications for the BlackBerry.
“Apple and Android still have the edge in consumer apps,” said Segan, managing editor for PCMag Mobile in New York.
“RIM is in danger of their phones becoming things that just do what they do out of the box, as opposed to smartphones that get new features through apps every day.”
Apple has been able to get a lasting buzz from its consumers applications that offer everything from identifying snippets of songs to translation services to finding restaurants.
When connecting to someone, the new system will offer all the possible ways that you can talk to them, such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Segan said.
It also has a “fancier” music player and the operating system is designed for touch devices developed by Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM and BlackBerrys with keyboards.
Segan the new operating system is designed for current BlackBerry platforms, meaning many BlackBerrys can be upgraded as long as wireless carriers OK the upgrade.
He also said RIM announced it will enhance the browser with flash technology that powers videos on a lot of websites, something the iPhone does not support.
Shares in Research In Motion closed down 28 cents at $72.59 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.