BlackBerry’s new 9720 will run old OS, won’t change its financial situation (Updated)

BlackBerry has announced a new smartphone, the BlackBerry 9720, which runs the older BlackBerry OS 7.1 software. If you’re wondering why BlackBerry’s releasing another OS 7 device, when BlackBerry 10 is supposed to be the software which will save the company, it’s because OS 7 is still outselling BB10 hardware.

Going where the interest is seems like a sensible strategy, but the 9720 isn’t going to be setting any pulses racing at all. It looks like every other QWERTY equipped BlackBerry phone, and has a 2.8-inch, 480 x 360 pixel resolution screen, making it less exciting than the Q5. It will, however, probably be cheaper, and therefore could steal even more sales from the newcomer.

A basic 806Mhz processor drives the BlackBerry OS 7.1 software, and is assisted by 512MB of RAM. The phone has 512MB of storage space to store literally dozens of songs or apps, plus a microSD card slot to make life a little easier. A 5-megapixel camera sits on the rear panel, along with a LED flash, plus the 9720 has Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi, 3G HSPA connectivity, a 1450mAh battery, and weighs 120 grams.

It’s going to come in several different colors, including pink, white and purple, plus there is a dedicated BBM key on the side of the phone. You know, ready for when all your friends have the BBM app installed on their Android and iOS devices. The BlackBerry 9720 will go on sale in the next few weeks, and it’s initially coming to Asia, Latin America, parts of Europe including the UK, Africa, and the Middle East. The price hasn’t been confirmed, but we doubt it’ll break the bank.

If we sound harsh or disinterested, it’s because we want more from BlackBerry, not yet another Curve-alike; particularly as its launch follows the company’s decision to pursue alternative options to turn the company’s fortunes around. The BlackBerry Z30 is perhaps that device, but it’s going to have to turn up soon if it’s to have much of a chance.

Updated on 08/20/2013 by Andy: The BlackBerry 9720 is now available to buy in the UK. It has been priced at £180 (that’s about $282) SIM-free through online retailer Clove Technology. If you want the 9720 on a contract, the phone has also popped up on Carphone Warehouse’s website as a pre-order, where it’s available for free with a two-year, £11 per month contract.

Article originally published on 08/13/2013

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