Research In Motion's (RIM) upcoming BlackBerry smartphone with a slide-out keyboard may not yet have been official announced by the handset-maker, but it's certainly not camera-shy; the BlackBerry 9800 slider has spent more time in the limelight recently than
mad man Mad Max-star Mel Gibson.
In fact, few details about the much-anticipated BlackBerry remain a mystery, beyond its release date; the BlackBerry 9800 will run RIM's new mobile OS BlackBerry 6; it's a 3G device; it will have a touch-screen and on-screen keyboard in addition to its full QWERTY "Bold-style" keyboard; the slider will sport a five megapixel digital camera; it'll likely be called either the "Bold 9800" or "Torch 9800"; and it's expected to be launched first on AT&T in the United States and Rogers in Canada.
Today, more evidence that the BlackBerry slider is coming soon: I spotted a number of replacement parts for the BlackBerry 9800 slider online at Chinese cell-phone parts supplier TrueSupplier.com. TrueSupplier currently lists three different BlackBerry 9800 parts/accessories for sale: an "OEM BlackBerry 9800 Keyboard (Black);" a "brand new OEM BlackBerry slider 9800 charging pod"—which appears to be identical to the existing BlackBerry Bold 9700 charge pad; and a "Blackberry Slider 9800 Black Leather Pouch case pocket."
The BlackBerry 9800 keyboard is really the only part that's clear meant specifically for the new slider smartphone, but its appearance suggests that the BlackBerry slider launch is on the near-horizon. Earlier rumors suggested the device could be released on AT&T in the United States are early as June, but that time has obviously come and passed with no sign of the 9800. An August/early-September launch is currently the best estimate for the when the BlackBerry 9800 slider will become available.
Read more about the BlackBerry slider, as well the unannounced BlackBerry 9670 clamshell and Curve 9300, here.
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