Smartphones the latest fashion accessory says BlackBerry head

Exclusive: RIM MD tells T3 smartphones now require as much style as substance

In an exclusive interview with T3 RIM’s UK MD, Stephen Bates has suggested smartphones have become the latest fashion accessory with users coveting style as much as substance

With the world awaiting the iPhone 5 release date in order to see what Apple does next, the UK head of BlackBerry has suggested smartphones have become the latest must-have fashion accessory with the Canadian firm looking to lead the way with functional, stylish handsets.

Speaking exclusively with T3, RIM’s UK Managing Director Stephen Bates revealed tech manufacturers are being forced to add high-end, desirable designs to their mobile devices as consumers look ever more for a pocketable gadget with the wow factor.

“Smartphones have become like a fashion accessory,” Bates said. “It matters what they look like, it matters what brand they are, it matters what the look and feel is so that you can not only have a very functionally usable device, but you have something you can be proud of.”

With BlackBerry’s recent smartphone releases struggling to compete with the likes of the Apple iPhone 4 and Android powerhouses such as the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Sensation, Bates revealed the Curve and Torch creator is actively working to increase the aesthetical qualities of its devices.

“There is absolutely a push into increasing the design and desirability factor of our handsets as well as their user functionality.”

Insisting that whilst design is important it will never be a case of style over substance Bates added: “We’re only a couple of years in to the smartphone market. People are just getting involved in smartphones, getting used to the things that are possible because the capability of smartphones are endless, there are so many things you can do.”

What is more important to you when deciding what handset to buy, design or functionality? Let us know via the comments box below...