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RIM Shows Off Blackberry Bold 9650

RIM launched the Blackberry Bold 9650 after presenting to us the Pearl 9100, both smartphones targeting two entirely different markets.

While the second one will appeal to a younger, hippier market, the first one is squarely aimed at business customers. It offers a proper QWERTY keyboard, an optical trackpad, WiFi and 512MB onboard memory expandable through a microSD card.

The President and co-CEO of Research in Motion, Mike Lazaridis, declared humbly in a statement that "The new BlackBerry Bold 9650 is an extraordinary smartphone that we think customers will love... Whether at work or at play, the new BlackBerry Bold 9650 offers a truly impressive communications, multimedia and connectivity experience."

Amongst other interesting features are the presence of a 3.2-megapixel camera with AF and flash, built-in GPS, in what is essentially an upgrade to the existing Bold; RIM has also abandoned the moniker "Tour" which is used in the US.

The rest of the configuration including the processor, the screen size and resolution and the overall form factor appear to be unchanged from the original Blackberry Bold.

The phone is expected to go on sale in May 2010 in the US and later this year in other territories. Pricing, both for contract and on SIM Free, have yet to be revealed. Note that it still uses OS 5.0 rather than OS 6.0 which will be launched soon.

Our Comments

RIM's shares surged by 3.24 percent today following the release of the two new handsets. This is despite the fact that some consider thar RIM is not doing enough to catch up with the iPhone and other Android competitors.

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