Optical/IP Networks

Canada Gets Bold

As expected, the 3G BlackBerry Bold is making its debut north of the border.

Rogers Wireless Communications Inc. (NYSE: RCN; Toronto: RCM) introduced the high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) 3G phone online today and will start selling it in stores soon. The first major 3G phone from Canadian device maven BlackBerry also has onboard WiFi and a higher resolution screen than previous models like the Curve. (See RIM Unveils 3G Device, VC Fund.)

The phone is priced at $400, with a data plan of $45 from the operator. Here's a video overview from the amusingly named CrackBerry site:

The device will inevitably be compared to the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone in the smartphone stakes. The Bold, however, is only one arrow in RIM's quiver.

The next most hotly anticipated gadget from RIM is the firm’s touch-screen device. The handset, codenamed “Thunder," is expected to be announced in October and could be a Verizon Wireless exclusive. The Thunder should share much of its feature set of the Bold. (See RIM's Four Aces.) RIM, however, is also rumored to have a flip-phone and a low-end device up its sleeve. The "Kick-Start" flip-phone is thought likely to be the consumer-orientated successor to its "Pearl" phone. (See RIM's Four Aces.)

The Bold is expected to arrive in the U.S. sometime in September on AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s HSDPA network.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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