RIM rolls out first touch-screen Blackberry

Research in Motion, unveiled its first smartphone with a touch-screen on, its answer to the popular Apple iPhone, an AFP report said.

The phone, the Blackberry Storm, will be available later this year through Verizon Wireless in the United States and Vodafone in Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand, the AFP report said.

The Storm resembles the iPhone but its color touch-screen differs in that it is 'clickable' -- the screen depresses slightly when touched like a typewriter key.

The AFP report quoted RIM president Mike Lazaridis saying that the touch-screen as a 'truly tactile touch interface' which 'solves the longstanding problem associated with typing on traditional touch-screens.'

Users navigate on the touch-screen by using their finger like a cursor, scrolling, highlighting, panning and zooming and clicking on selections.

Other features of the Storm include wireless email through high-speed 3G mobile broadband networks, an HTML web browser which allows audio and video streaming and SMS, MMS and IM messaging.

It also features a media player, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a video camera and Global Positioning System (GPS) capability alongside Blackberry Maps.

RIM did not provide a price for the phone or a release date except to say it would be in stores by the Christmas holiday season.