A new video shows BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion continuing to fight the good fight against Apple's iPhone and a growing number of high-end Android-running smartphones that boast larger displays, touch-screens and inventory-rich application stores.
Following the BlackBerry Torch, the first RIM smartphone to combine a QWERTY keypad with a touch-screen, the company is apparently preparing a BlackBerry Bold with touch capabilities. A 48-second video posted to YouTube by BBLeaks shows the device in action.
(While the video was posted April 1, one hopes an April Fool's prank would show teleportation and 3D smell functionality, rather than the ability to use two-finger multi-touch capabilities to zoom in on a photo and set it as the phone's wallpaper.)
According to tech site V3, the Bold Touch, code-named "Montana," along with another BlackBerry phone, code-named "Monaco"- reportedly the Storm 3-are expected to launch during the third quarter. A presentation and roadmap said to be leaked from RIM, according to a January post on CrackBerry, show the two following the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, scheduled to launch during the second quarter, and preceding a candy-bar phone, code-named "Sedona."
The BlackBerry Bold Touch (or Montana), according to the presentation, features an "exciting new, luxurious design," which-taking inspiration from the iPhone 4-includes a forged, machined stainless steel frame. It reportedly also boasts a 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor; quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System) radio support; a 5-megapixel camera with HD video recording; 8GB of storage, 768MB of RAM and support for an up to 32GB microSD card; an accelerometer; and an optical trackpad in addition to the 2.8-inch (diagonal) touch display.
Along with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, RIM is said to be also including NFC (near-field communication) technology-the turns-your-phone-into-a-wallet technology that Google has talked up, Apple has taken steps to support and is expected to include in the iPhone 5, and AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have buddied up to get behind with their network venture Isis.
NFC is also included in the Monaco Touch, according to the post, along with a 3.7-inch capacitive-touch display; a 5-megapixel camera with HD video; a 1.2GHz processor; dual-band CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), EV-Do Rev. A, RX Diversity, and Quad band EDGE/Single Band UMTS radios; 4GB of storage, 768MB of RAM and support for an up to 32GB SD card; and WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity.
Both phones can act as a mobile hotspot-a popular Android phone feature-and are expected to run the BlackBerry 6 operating system.
RIM's March 24 earnings announcement was dominated by talk of its upcoming PlayBook, which runs QNX, an operating system that RIM plans to eventually transition its BlackBerry handsets over to. While the phone maker has lost U.S. market share to Apple and Google, it nonetheless announced that in fiscal 2011 it saw record shipments of devices and that "BlackBerry was the No. 1 selling smartphone brand in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the U.K. for calendar 2010," according to research firm IDC's "Worldwide Mobile Phones Quarterly Tracker."
"RIM is in an excellent position to benefit from the continuing convergence of the mobile communications and mobile computing markets," RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in a statement at the time, adding, "We are extremely excited about our smartphone, tablet and platform roadmaps."
RIM would not comment on the video.