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.
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.
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.
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