Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion (RIM) is adding two new devices to its BlackBerry OS 7 portfolio -- and they should arrive just in time for the holiday shopping season.
The BlackBerry Bold 9790 and the Curve 9380 fit snugly into RIM’s existing BlackBerry lineup with their signature looks and compact form factors.
The Bold 9790 has been given a curvier makeover with an updated QWERTY keyboard and a thinner profile. It will replace the year-old BlackBerry Bold 9780 and offer NFC support, a 5MP auto-focus camera, voice-activated Universal Search, Documents to Go for mobile, and run on RIM’s latest operating system.
The Curve 9380 is the first device in RIM’s Curve range to feature a large touch screen (and no QWERTY keyboard). The lower-end smartphone sports a 3.2" (360 x 480) display, a 5MP camera and support for NFC and Augmented Reality. It offers social networking-enhanced features such as the Social Feeds application, BBM Music and
BlackBerry Messenger and will soon enable users to wirelessly pay for goods and services using MasterCard PayPass.
Both devices will have BlackBerry Protect to back up files, BlackBerry Balance to manage work and personal profiles, and RIM’s new mobile web browser.
While RIM seems convinced that incremental upgrades to its existing smartphone lines are enough to keep consumers coming back for more, mobile developers are losing interest in the platform. It’s a trend that should be worrisome for both RIM and BlackBerry owners.
A November 14 study by Appcelerator and IDC reveals that Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform has "decisively moved ahead of RIM’s BlackBerry OS" to become the third most popular mobile operating system for mobile developers behind both iOS and Android.
RIM hasn’t announced specific release dates and pricing for the handsets but mentions they should be available in selected regions around the world before the end of November.
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