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RIM Intros BlackBerry Bold 9700

The smartphone adds a stronger processor, a beefier camera, and Wi-Fi calling capabilities with T-Mobile.

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700
(click image for larger view)
RIM's BlackBerry Bold 9700
BlackBerry fans on AT&T and T-Mobile will soon have a new mobile messaging option, as Research In Motion revealed Wednesday the BlackBerry Bold 9700.

The Bold 9700 looks similar to its predecessor, but it ditches the trackball for an optical trackpad for navigation. In traditional BlackBerry form, the handset has a 2.4-inch screen with a highly-tactile full QWERTY keyboard on the face. RIM said it sports a 624-MHz processor, which should enable it to multitask without slowing down or lagging.

The handset will be as enterprise-friendly as customers are used to from RIM, as the Bold 9700 will be able to receive over-the-air e-mails, contact information, and calendars from Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, and Novell GroupWise setups. Users will also be able to get push e-mail from Web-based providers like Gmail and Yahoo Mail thanks to the BlackBerry Internet Service. Additionally, Bold 9700 customers can add new personal or corporate applications through the BlackBerry App World.

"The new BlackBerry Bold 9700 delivers state-of-the-art features and performance in a compact and beautifully designed handset," said Don Morrison, COO at RIM, in a statement. "This sleek and powerful 3G smartphone offers an incredibly refined mobile experience that is ideal for both personal and professional use."

The T-Mobile version will be the carrier's first BlackBerry with 3G connectivity, and both versions will come with Wi-Fi. T-Mobile users will also be able to use their Bold 9700 for Wi-Fi calling at home or with corporate setups. The Bold 9700 will also come with Bluetooth, a 3.2-megapixel camera, expandable memory via microSD, and built-in GPS for directions, location-based searches, and geo-tagging photos.

The Bold 9700 will be available in the next few weeks, and it is expected to cost about $199 after rebates and with new two-year contract.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on application delivery. Download the report here (registration required).

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