RIM to launch three new smartphones on BlackBerry 7 OS


Releases running on new BlackBerry operating system to begin shipping later this month in what the company describes as its biggest ever global launch

Research In Motion (RIM) will launch three new BlackBerry smartphones based on the new BlackBerry 7 operating system – the company’s first handset releases since the Bold 9780 last November. Devices will begin shipping later this month.

The Bold 9900, Torch 9810 and 9850 were unveiled to journalists at a global launch event held in central London this morning (August 3).

The launch of the handsets will be RIM’s largest ever and more than 225 carriers and distribution partners have already commenced or completed over 500 significant programs for these new devices.

All devices will run the BlackBerry 7 software which the company said is its fastest ever and 40 per cent quicker than BlackBerry 6 OS.

The Bold 9900 (pictured right) is the thinnest BlackBerry smartphone yet at 10.5mm thick and the first to offer a keyboard and touch display integrated within the Bold design. It is expected to go on sale in the UK on August 15. The 9900 will be the first from the company to include built-in support for NFC.

The Torch 9810 (pictured centre) features a 3.2-inch touchscreen, slide-out keyboard, HD video recording and 8GB of memory. The Torch 9850 (pictured left) features a 3.7-inch touchscreens, the largest ever on a BlackBerry smartphone.

All five phones are powered by a 1.2GHz processor and include ‘liquid graphics’ which RIM claimed offers the smoothest and most responsive BlackBerry user interface to date.

A new version of Facebook, Facebook 2.0, will be available and now includes Facebook Chat. A new version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which RIM said has more than 45 million users, will also be made available.

The company revealed at the launch there are now 67 million RIM subscribers, with seven million in the UK. It also claimed to have more than 35,000 applications in its Apps World.

RIM managing director of global sales and regional marketing Patrick Spence said: “This is the largest global launch of BlackBerry products in our history. There has been hundreds of thousands of man hours put in to this portfolio.”

RIM VP EMEA product manager Rob Orr said: “People are counting on BlackBerry to get things done. The design is absolutely impeccable.”