April 26, 2010

RIM Spills The Beans On New Devices

Research in Motion (RIM) said on Monday that it is launching variations of two existing BlackBerry smartphones, while the company's co-chief executive hinted at an announcement of a new operating system and browser.

RIM is unveiling its new devices on the eve of its annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium, which is a three-day even that will run from April 27-29 in Orlando, Florida.

The company said in a statement that a CDMA version of the high-end BlackBerry Bold device would ship in May to Verizon and Sprint Nextel.  The BlackBerry Bold is already available on GMS networks like AT&T and T-Mobile.

RIM is also going to unveil a new 3G version of the Pearl, which is the smallest of the BlackBerry devices.  The new GSM device will have faster download speeds over the 3G networks.

"We think what this does is it really rounds out the family of products, though we are far from done this year with new products," said Jim Balsillie, RIM's co-chief executive, in an interview with Reuters.

Analysts hope this year at the WES that the company will make announcements about a new BlackBerry operating system and browser.  They hope this will help competition against Apple's iPhone, Motorola's Droid and a slew of other smartphone devices have taken away market share from RIM.

Balsillie stopped short of commenting directly on any new software upgrades for navigating BlackBerry functions and browsing the Internet through the device.

"We will have more announcements, so I am not going to comment on further announcements. Mike will be doing a keynote ... So I would tune into his keynote and see what he has to say," said Balsillie, in response to a query about the new OS and browser.

Lizaridis, who co-heads RIM with Balsillie, will address the company's analyst meeting on Monday and is expected to speak at the symposium later this week.

"I won't steal any of Mike's thunder," said Balsillie.

RIM also announced an upgrade version of its mobile voice system (MVS) technology, which allows a BlackBerry device to seamlessly connect to one's office landline.  The current version allows a user to route all outgoing calls through their office landline device.

The latest upgrade to the MVS technology will let users make and receive calls from their BlackBerry over a Wi-Fi connection.


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