Device operating systems

RIM Revamps the BlackBerry

BlackBerry unveiled five new smartphones Wednesday in what the BlackBerry maker described as its "largest global launch ever."

After a year without launching any new phones, RIM introduced two new BlackBerry Bolds and three BlackBerry Torch models.

All of the devices run on the latest version of RIM's operating system, BlackBerry 7, which the company says enables Web browsing up to 40 percent faster than OS 6-based devices and up to 100 percent faster than OS 5-based phones.

The new operating system also has better zooming and panning capabilities for Web navigation and enhanced HTML5 performance. The devices also feature Liquid Graphics technology, which gives higher resolution to the display and makes the touch interface more responsive.

As for the hardware, enhancements include a 1.2GHz processor, HD video recording, 24-bit high-resolution graphics and new sensors for augmented reality applications.

The new Bold models, the 9900 and 9930, have a touch screen as well as the traditional QWERTY keypad, support near-field communications (NFC) and are said to be RIM's thinnest smartphones to date.

The Torch 9810 features a slide-out keypad, while the Torch 9850 and 9860 are touch-screen models.

The devices will launch next week and RIM says more than 225 operators and distribution partners have started certifying the smartphones.

Among the first operators to support the new BlackBerrys is AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), which announced plans to offer the BlackBerry Torch 9810 in August. AT&T said it will also launch the Bold 9900 and Torch 9860 later this year.

The launch comes only days after RIM announced it is cutting 10 percent of its workforce to reduce its operating costs following a relatively poor first quarter of 2011. (See RIM Cuts 2,000 Jobs and RIM Lowers Guidance Amidst Poor Q1.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:57:18 PM
re: RIM Revamps the BlackBerry

Hmm these devices don't sound that exciting -- incremental upgrades at best. Where's the LTE?!?

sam masud 12/5/2012 | 4:57:17 PM
re: RIM Revamps the BlackBerry

I'm underwhelmed

Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:57:17 PM
re: RIM Revamps the BlackBerry

Also, shouldn't RIM be worried about developer suport for OS 7? If RIM's moving to the new QNX operating system for smartphones, will developers really want to spend time on OS 7?

Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:57:17 PM
re: RIM Revamps the BlackBerry

No kidding!

I just got a reply from a RIM pr guy about LTE support: "RIM does not comment on future products."

so I'll have to keep digging. Maybe they think they've got LTE covered for now with the PlayBook coming out later this year.

stelabokun 12/5/2012 | 4:57:16 PM
re: RIM Revamps the BlackBerry

Also, RIM was pretty loud about the NFC functionality of the new devices several months ago. Now it seems that only the Bold 9900 will be NFC enabled from the beginning, while the others “will follow later” - and when is “later” is of course still a big unknown.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:57:16 PM
re: RIM Revamps the BlackBerry

That's why adding Android app support should be a good move for RIM, but it sounds like that is delayed now until the Fall.

Sign In