BlackBerry WebKit browser to be the fastest

Research In Motion is planning to use its WebKit-based BlackBerry browser as a surprise weapon against Android phones and the iPhone, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu said today in an investor note. He cites "sources" who say the browser has been delayed but that it will take advantage of the push nature of BlackBerry Internet Service to load sites much more quickly. It could load pages as much as 30 to 60 percent faster than other WebKit devices simply by not having to use as much bandwidth.

Wu also believes the browser will soon integrate Flash. RIM joined the Open Screen Project in October but didn’t say at the time it would add the plugin to its browser. The completed software doesn’t have a definite unveiling point but may get a demo anywhere between Mobile World Congress in the middle of this month and RIM’s self-run Wireless Enterprise Symposium at the end of April.

Hardware is similarly being worked upon as two new touchscreen BlackBerries are still thought to be in progress. A conventional BlackBerry shape with a touchscreen, nicknamed elsewhere as the Dakota, is still in development. A full-touchscreen slider resembling the Storm2 is also due but hasn’t received new details. Both phones are unofficially slated to ship in 2010.

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