6/21/2009

Techy Talk~ Blackberry Tour

The Blackberry has become the best-selling smartphone this year, and the company behind it, RIM, isn't looking back. With all the fuss over the iPhone 3G S features not working with AT&T, RIM is ready to roll out yet another version of its smartphone to win more of the marketshare.

On Wednesday (June 17), the same day the iPhone 3.0 software update went live, the makers of the Blackberry announced the new Blackberry Tour 9630, which falls somewhere between the Curve (proving popular among regular consumers) and the Bold (aimed at high-end corporate users).

Although the device isn't too much different from other Blackberry models in appearance, RIM co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie told Reuters this week the Tour is a "big step forward". They call it a "world phone," meaning it can easily access voice and data services on networks outside the user's home country, which has proven popular with business users in the past. For the regular user, the Tour comes loaded with multimedia features similar to those found in the BlackBerry Curve and Pearl, including a photo and video camera, and media player.

It is a little narrower, shorter, and thinner than the Bold, and offers slightly higher resolution, 480x360 pixels vs. the Bold's 480x320. The new version will be available "later this summer" from Verizon Wireless and Sprint in the U.S., reports Business Week.

It is expected to retail for $199 after an instant and mail-in rebate.

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