Research In Motion (RIM) has announced a new top-of-the-line handset, the BlackBerry Bold.
Designed for professionals who want an “elegant” device coupled with power and functionality, the BlackBerry Bold features the sharpest, most vibrant BlackBerry display to date, according to the company. It also is the first smartphone from RIM to support high-speed HSDPA networks.
Other highlights of the handset include: the fastest processor in a BlackBerry, 1GB on-board storage, an external micro SD/SDHC memory card slot, 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi radios, GPS, media player, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack and 2-megapixel camera with flash, plus video recording capabilities.
RIM did not announce the price or which carrier will launch the Bold first, but did say it should be available in summer 2008 from “wireless carriers around the world.”
Matthew Thornton, telecommunications analyst at Avian Securities, said in a research note that RIM’s Bold is not “revolutionary” but should “successfully extend the BlackBerry franchise… as well as its shelf space.” Thornton said he expects the Bold to cost around $249.99-$299.99 with a service contract and that it will most likely launch with AT&T initially.
Separately, RIM, RBC and Thomson Reuters announced the BlackBerry Partners Fund, a $150 million venture capital fund designed to drive development of mobile applications and services for the BlackBerry platform, as well as other mobile platforms. In a statement, RIM said: “The goal of the BlackBerry Partners Fund is to encourage creativity and innovation across all mobile platforms and industry segments.“