To broaden its 14-million customer base, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, based at Waterloo near here, Monday unveiled a new and sleeker version of the wireless device that is a style statement among professionals and corporates around the world.
Called the BlackBerry Bold, the new smartphone comes with a variety of new features. Labelled as model number 9000, it will be priced between $300 and $400 and hit the market this summer.
This will be the first BlackBerry to support tri-band HSDPA high-speed cellular networks around the world and feature integrated GPS, Wi-Fi and a set of multimedia capabilities, the company said in a statement Monday.
``The new BlackBerry Bold represents a tremendous step forward in business-grade smartphones and lives up to its name with incredible speed, power and functionality, all wrapped in a beautiful and confident design,'' company president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said.
Apart from the usual BlackBerry applications, including phone, email, messaging, and organizer and browser, the BlackBerry Bold will also feature 624 MHz mobile processor for quick downloading of email attachments, streaming video or rendering web pages, 128 MB Flash memory and one GB on-board storage memory.
``With this powerful new smartphone, users can even talk on the phone while sending and receiving email or accessing the web, and download Word, Excel or PowerPoint files and edit them directly on the handset using the preloaded DataViz Documents to Go suite,'' the company statement said.
Thanks to its high-resolution, ultra-bright display and its colour LCD fused to the undersurface of the lens, users will get vibrant and razor-sharp pictures, while videos play smoothly and web pages, documents, presentations and messages snap with exceptional quality and contrast, the company claimed.
The BlackBerry Bold will make on-the-go browsing a whole new experience, with the trackball mimicking a mouse, and making it easier to navigate sites or to zoom in on specific parts of a web page.
Users can also choose between the full desktop-style HTML content and layout or the mobile version. It also features a two-megapixel camera for video recording, built-in flash and 5x digital zoom.
The device will also allow users connectivity to protected wireless networks. With its enhanced media player, users can display pictures and slideshows quickly, play movies in full screen mode, and manage their music collection.
The BlackBerry has a customer base of about 14 million, mostly corporate executives and professionals who use it for sending secure wireless emails.
However, the Canadian giant in wireless connectivity, which operates in North America, Europe and Asia, says about a third of its subscribers are non-corporate types, including ordinary consumers. To woo this market, the company is launching new devices soon.