BlackBerry Bold 9650 announced, targets Tour owners' big complaints

RIM has a longstanding track record of refining its hardware with near-surgical precision -- from one generation of BlackBerry to the next, you almost always see a very careful, deliberate evolution, from the Storm2's revamped SurePress tech to the Bold 9700's optical pad and countless examples in between. "Evolution" is exactly how we'd describe the CDMA- and GSM-equipped Bold 9650, the Tour's spiritual successor that ditches the old name to join forces with the remainder of the Bold line. Dimensionally, the Bold 9650 is a dead ringer for the Tour -- it's still 4.4 x 2.4 x 0.56 inches -- but it packs on two-tenths of an ounce worth of weight in exchange for oft-requested WiFi support and an extra 256MB of internal storage (it's now up to 512MB total). The other big difference, of course, is the replacement of the dodgy trackball with an optical pad, continuing a trend that has now permeated throughout virtually all of RIM's lineup. Look for the Bold 9650 to hit American carriers -- presumably both Verizon and Sprint -- in May. Follow the break for a second shot and RIM's full press release!

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RIM Introduces the New BlackBerry Bold 9650 Smartphone

CDMA customers get a bold new choice with powerhouse 3G smartphone that offers premium features and performance together with popular keyboard and trackpad, as well as support for Wi-Fi and high-speed 3G networks around the world

Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today introduced the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9650 smartphone – the latest addition to the BlackBerry Bold portfolio of premium smartphones. Sophisticated, powerful and feature-rich, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 is a global smartphone for CDMA customers who want to stay connected, productive and entertained.

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

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone supports 3G (EVDO) networks in North America and (HSPA/UMTS) abroad and has a full-QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad and built-in Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g), which makes it possible to talk on the phone while browsing the web or sending and receiving email. The BlackBerry Bold 9650 also includes 512 MB Flash memory and an expandable memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB microSDHC cards, with a 2 GB card included.

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 fuses form and function in a striking design and, in addition to providing premium phone and multimedia features, it of course delivers the industry's leading mobile solution for email, messaging (IM, SMS, MMS) and social networking.

Other key features of the BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone include:

• Stylish design (4.4" x 2.4" x .56" and 4.8 oz.) with glossy black finish and chrome highlights
• Large (2.44") high-resolution display (480 x 360 resolution at 245 ppi), able to display pictures, videos and web pages with impressive contrast and detail
• 3.2 MP camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording
• Advanced media player for videos, pictures and music, a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack and support for the Bluetooth® Stereo Audio Profile (A2DP/AVCRP)
• BlackBerry® Media Sync for easily syncing photos as well as iTunes® and Windows Media® Player music with the smartphone*
• Easy mobile access to Facebook®, MySpace and Flickr®, as well as popular instant messaging services including BlackBerry® Messenger
• Support for BlackBerry App World™, featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones
• Full HTML web browser, streaming audio and video via RTSP
• Built-in GPS with support for geotagging, BlackBerry® Maps and other mapping applications
• Premium phone features including voice activated dialing, speakerphone, and Bluetooth (2.1).
• Support for high-speed EV-DO Rev. A networks in North America, as well as UMTS/HSPA (2100Mhz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad
• Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for 5 hours of CDMA talk time

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone is expected to be available from carriers in the United States beginning in May. For more information visit