Research in Motion has had better days -- and years, for that matter -- but it's always had a loyal partner in AT&T, a company that's cranked out BlackBerry products faithfully for the past twelve years. The tradition continues, as the GSM giant has announced its intentions to bring the 4G BlackBerry Torch 9810 (aka the Torch 2) to stores sometime this month, followed by the 4G BlackBerry Torch 9860 and 4G Bold 9900 "later this year." No specific dates or prices were given on any of the devices.

The Torch 9810 comes with a 1.2GHz CPU, 3.2-inch touch display, a total of 8GB internal memory (with microSD expansion up to 32GB), and a 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture. Oh, and about the "4G" in the title? An AT&T spokesperson confirmed to us that the moniker is simply referring to HSPA+, capping at 14.4Mbps. It's definitely a step up from the original Torch 9800, at least, but our appetite for 4G of the LTE variety runs deep. Will this be too little too late for the Canadian manufacturer, or can this year's fall lineup be enough to keep the company healthy until QNX rolls into town?

[Thanks, Gary]


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AT&T ANNOUNCES 4G BLACKBERRY PORTFOLIO

Exclusive 4G BlackBerry Torch 9810 to Precede 4G BlackBerry Bold 9900 and New, 4G, All-touch BlackBerry Torch 9860

DALLAS, Aug. 3, 2011 -

Key Facts

· AT&T* today outlined plans for its future portfolio of 4G BlackBerry smartphones including the exclusive 4G BlackBerry® Torch™ 9810, planned to be launched in August.

· Also planned for 2011, AT&T customers will have the opportunity to select the 4G BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 and the 4G, all-touch, BlackBerry® Torch™ 9860.

· AT&T's premium BlackBerry lineup will be capable of speeds up to nearly four times the network speed capability of previous models, so you can talk and surf even faster on the nation's fastest mobile broadband network.

4G BlackBerry Torch 9810

Exclusive to AT&T customers, the next-generation 4G BlackBerry Torch 9810 is faster and more fluid with high performance hardware features and the new BlackBerry® 7 OS delivering an enhanced multimedia experience. It features the signature BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard that easily slides out to allow fast typing and a full touch screen display, and delivers high-speed 4G capabilities. The 4G BlackBerry Torch 9810 is planned to be available in August.

The new 4G BlackBerry Torch 9810 smartphone boasts significant hardware improvements including a 1.2GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera with HD 720p video recording, 8 gigabytes of onboard storage and a high resolution, 3.2-inch touch display powered by BlackBerry Liquid Graphics™ technology to deliver an incredibly fast, smooth and responsive visual experience.

A powerful evolution of the BlackBerry software, BlackBerry 7 OS delivers speed, efficiency and UI enhancements and enables new hardware capabilities, including HD video recording, more fluid and responsive graphics, digital compass, and augmented reality. Browsing with the new BlackBerry 7 based smartphones is up to 40% faster than BlackBerry® 6 based smartphones and up to 100% faster than BlackBerry® 5 based smartphones**.

AT&T BlackBerry Smartphone Portfolio

In addition to the 4G BlackBerry Torch 9810, AT&T plans to also add even more 4G-capable versions of BlackBerry smartphones to its portfolio later this year including the 4G BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the 4G, all-touch BlackBerry Torch 9860, which will be AT&T's first all-touch BlackBerry smartphone.

Quotes

"BlackBerry customers are passionate about their smartphones – and they know to come to AT&T for the best choice," said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "From being the first carrier to offer the BlackBerry solution in 1999 to the broadest lineup of 4G-capable BlackBerry smartphones this year, we'll continue to offer our customers the leading BlackBerry portfolio in the U.S."