RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 Officially Announced; Nov. U.S. Launch

Research In Motion (RIM) has finally announced the successor to its high-end BlackBerry Bold 9000 smartphone, the Bold 9700. Wireless carriers across the globe, including AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States, are expected to release the Bold 9700 next month.

Research In Motion (RIM) this morning decided to acknowledge what most Web-watching gadget-enthusiasts have known was coming for months: the BlackBerry Bold 9700. The business-oriented Bold 9700 is expected to become available in the United States on T-Mobile and AT&T in November, and the device could find its way to T-Mobile Germany customers and Canadians on Rogers even earlier.

Marketing Image of RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 Smartphone
RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 Smartphone

Most of the BlackBerry Bold 9700's technical specifications are no secret; blogs started posting images, details and even reviews of the device last spring.

The Bold 9700 is a souped-version of RIM's Bold 9000 in a more compact package. The specs most worth noting are the device's support for Wi-Fi/UMA, or voice-over-Wi-Fi calling, where available (T-Mobile); new, optical "trackpad" for navigation; GPS; 256MB of Flash application memory (double the app memory of the Bold 9000); and RIM's as-of-yet unavailable--at least officially--BlackBerry handheld OS 5.0.

The Bold 9700 packs RIM's guitar-fret-style keyboard--thin, chrome "frets" sit between each row of keys. It has the same 3.2-megapixel camera as RIM's Curve 8900 and Tour 9630. And the new Bold uses the same 1500mAh battery as the Bold 9000.

It also packs what RIM's calling a "next-generation (624-MHz) processor," though the Bold 9000 also has a 624-MHz processor.

And the Bold 9700 will be T-Mobile's first 3G BlackBerry--just like I predicted back in August. Because T-Mobile, AT&T and other carriers employ different RF frequencies for 3G, the Bold 9700 will be available in two versions: UMTS/HSDPA 2100/1900/850/800 MHz and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM; as well as a version with UMTS/HSDPA 2100/1700/900 MHz and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM.

T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9700
T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9700

Interested customers can expect to pay at least $200 along with a new service agreement at launch, regardless of carrier.

RIM's Bold 9700 announcement comes just a week after the company made its new touch-screen device, the BlackBerry Storm2, official along with Vodafone U.K.

AS

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