RIM Launches Two New Phones, New BlackBerry 7 OS


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RIM Launches Two New Phones, New BlackBerry 7 OS:

RIM Launches Two New Phones, New BlackBerry 7 OS

Slide 2:

ORLANDO—Retina Display, meet "liquid graphics." RIM today announced two powerful new BlackBerry phones with high-res touch screens, fast 1.2-GHz processors, and a new OS that offers better graphics than BlackBerrys had before.

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The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 are the HSPA (AT&T/T-Mobile) and CDMA/HSPA+ (Verizon/Sprint global) versions of the same thing: a stretched-out BlackBerry Bold with a 2.8-inch, 640-by-480 touch screen. That isn't high resolution compared to other top-of-the-line smartphones, but it's a very rich, dense screen for its small size.

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The two phones run 1.2-GHz Qualcomm processors and have 8GB of storage, 5-megapixel cameras with 720p HD video recording, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

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The phones also have built-in NFC, the much-touted technology that could enable phones to be used as mobile wallets, if banks ever decide to support it. NFC may have applications in businesses, though, for things like proximity-based ID cards.

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The new BlackBerry 7 OS brings the "liquid graphics" ability, which we're sure to hear more about at the BlackBerry World trade show later today. According to RIM's press release, it offers "60 frames per second performance with instant UI action/response," which doesn't necessarily mean anything. We'll have to see how it performs in demos today.

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Rather than being an entirely new OS, BlackBerry 7 is an upgrade to the existing BlackBerry 6 OS. It's "designed to power the new BlackBerry Bold platform"—implying it may not work on earlier phones—and it adds better graphics capabilities, a faster browser, and BlackBerry Balance, which lets users segregate personal from business content on their smartphones.

Slide 8:

In a Tweet, T-Mobile USA confirmed that it will carry the BlackBerry Bold 9900. The phone will come out "this summer," RIM said. We'll have a full hands-on of the phone later today.

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