RIM Introduces Updated BlackBerry Bold 9700

Research In Motion plans to roll out an updated version of its high-end BlackBerry Bold smartphone in time for the holidays. Targeted at the company's base of professional users and wealthy consumers, the latest Bold handheld is thinner and lighter than its predecessor which hit the market last year. The new Bold 9700 also has a new touch-sensitive optical trackpad instead of the original's track ball.

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone supports 3G HSDPA networks around the world and offers a next-generation (624 MHz) processor, 256 MB Flash memory, built-in GPS and Wi-Fi, and a 3.2MP camera. The Bold 9700 runs on BlackBerry OS 5.0 and also features a faster Web browser.

AT&T and T-Mobile will be the first carriers in the U.S. to offer the new Bold 9700. AT&T plans to offer the BlackBerry Bold 9700 for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in-rebate. The T-Mobile variant will support Wi-Fi Calling. T-Mobile did not list any pricing information but did say the phone will be available in time for the holiday season.

Key features of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone include:
  • Sleek design measuring 4.29" x 2.36" x 0.56" and weighing only 4.3 oz
  • Sharp and dazzling 2.44” light-sensing display (480 x 360 resolution at 245 ppi)
  • Highly tactile full-QWERTY keyboard – with finely sculpted keys and chrome frets – for fast, accurate typing
  • Innovative touch-sensitive trackpad that allows intuitive and responsive navigation
  • Built-in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) with support for Wi-Fi calling via UMA where available
  • 3.2 MP camera with variable zoom, autofocus, flash and video recording
  • BlackBerry OS 5.0, offering users email management and calendar enhancements as well as a better browsing experience with faster JavaScript and CSS processing
  • Built-in GPS for maps and other location-based applications, as well as photo geotagging
  • Media player for videos, pictures and music (music play now extended up to 38 hours), plus support for BlackBerry Desktop Manager for both PCs and Macs, and BlackBerry Media Sync for easily syncing iTunes and Windows Media Player music with the smartphone
  • 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, dedicated volume controls, Lock and Mute keys seamlessly integrated across the top of the handset
  • microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 16 GB cards today and is expected to support 32 GB cards when available; a 2GB card is included
  • 256 MB of Flash memory
  • Access to BlackBerry App World, featuring a broad and growing catalog of mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones. Categories include games, entertainment, IM and social networking, news, weather, productivity and more.
  • Premium and easy-to-access phone features, background noise suppression technology and high quality speakerphone
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with support for Secure Simple Pairing, hands-free headsets, stereo headsets, car kits and other Bluetooth peripherals
  • Support for BlackBerry Internet Service and BlackBerry Enterprise Server
  • Available in two versions to support various carrier 3G network frequency combinations:
    • UMTS/HSDPA 2100/1900/850/800 MHz and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM
    • UMTS/HSDPA 2100/1700/900 MHz and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM
  • Removable, rechargeable 1500 mAhr battery that provides approximately 6 hours of talk time and 17 days of standby time in 3G mode