RIM will release three new Curve smartphones running its BlackBerry 7 OS. It's part of a larger BlackBerry refresh the company hopes will help it retain market share.
Motion is continuing its rapid cadence of new BlackBerry releases, announcing
Aug. 23 that three new Curve smartphones-the 9350, 9360 and 9370-will debut in
Canada this month, followed by a global release beginning in September.
The Curve is
part of RIM's latest attempt to reinvigorate its BlackBerry line with new
devices running BlackBerry 7 OS, which the company claims offers faster
browsing, smoother navigation, voice-activated universal search and
preinstalled applications such as the enhanced BlackBerry Messenger 6.
In addition to
the new BlackBerry Bold, an ultra-thin variant on RIM's classic
keyboard-and-screen smartphone design, there's also the Blackberry Torch
9850/9860 and BlackBerry Torch 9810. The latter is RIM's update of the Torch
line, with a slide-out keyboard and 3.2-inch touch display. The Torch
9850/9860, on the other hand, falls back on a 3.7-inch screen without a
physical QWERTY keyboard-in keeping with the touch-screen-only model already
embraced by much of the smartphone industry.
other devices, the newest Curve features a slim design. Other features include
a 2.44-inch screen, integrated GPS support, 5-megapixel camera with flash, and
microSD/SDHC slot with support for a 32GB memory card (onboard memory totals
RIM is also
seeking to promote its PlayBook tablet, which shipped around 500,000 units in
its first quarter of release and faces stiff competition from Apple's iPad.
Earlier in August, Sprint canceled plans to launch a 4G version of the
PlayBook, although RIM passed that off as a strategic decision. "RIM has
decided to prioritize and focus its 4G development resources on LTE [Long-Term
Evolution]," it wrote in a statement. "We remain excited and committed to
delivering innovative and powerful 4G tablets to the U.S. market together with
our carrier partners."
June 16 it had earned $4.9 billion in revenue for the first quarter of fiscal
2012, down 12 percent from the previous quarter. Net income also declined,
while RIM curbed earnings per share for fiscal 2012 to between $5.25 and $6.
The company continues to fight for market share against a host of determined
competitors, including Apple and Google. Even as it releases these new devices
with BlackBerry 7 OS, RIM is pinning its broader hopes on a line of QNX-powered
"superphones" due sometime in 2012.
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Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.