RIM launches new BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Torch
RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, has released three new handsets.
New versions of the BlackBerry Bold and the BlackBerry Torch were unveiled in London this morning.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 has the distinctive BlackBerry keyboard and now includes an NFC chip for contactless payments and pairing with accessories. It is also, at 10.5mm, the thinnest handset RIM has made.
The BlackBerry Torch 9810 offers a touchscreen and a slide-out keyboard. A third model, the ‘all-touch’ BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860, is an entirely touchscreen device, which RIM says has been designed to feel comfortable whether it’s held in either portrait or landscape position.
Rob Orr, RIM’s VP for product for EMEA, said: “What we have tried to do is create choice.” He described the launch, which is RIM’s first to be held outside North America, as “probably our largest over global launch of smartphones”.
All three handsets have 1.2ghz processors and more memory than previous BlackBerry models and all three are running BlackBerry 7 OS - a new version of the BlackBerry operating system.
RIM says the new operating system delivers web browsing that is 40pc faster than on phones running BlackBerry 6 OS. It also comes with BlackBerry Liquid Graphics, which Mr Orr said is “the product of a really significant piece of research and development”. He said the new technology makes the phone feel quicker and more responsive.
Other improvements to the OS include integration with Wikitude Augmented Reality, an overhauled Facebook app and improvements to the popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), including the ability to view your BBM contacts from within another app, such as a game.
RIM has admitted enduring a “challenging start” to the year. The mobile firm has seen its market share decline in the US and the PlayBook, its entry into the tablet market, received mixed reviews. The company has cut its profit forecasts and announced job cuts.
However Pete Cunningham, principle analyst at Canalys, said that today’s new products would be good for RIM. He said: “With BlackBerry OS7 and RIM’s new devices it is well positioned to maintain its strong growth that it continues to see in markets like the UK, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.”