RIM’s BlackBerry Bold 9700 Debuts at the Top of the Line

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Canada’s Research In Motion has refreshed the top of its Blackberry smartphone line, announcing the new BlackBerry Bold 9700. The new 9700 adds on to its predecessor’s feature set with an optical trackpad and a thinner design. And the 9700 will be launching on both AT&T and T-Mobile in coming weeks, which should be enough to set some executives’ and business peoples’ hearts aflutter.

“The BlackBerry Bold 9700 builds on the success of the original BlackBerry Bold with new, state-of-the-art features and a smaller, lighter and highly optimized design that looks, feels, and performs great,” said RIM president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, in a statement.

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 features a 2.44-inch 480 by 360-pixel display, a “highly tactile” QWERTY keypad, a 3.2 megapixel camera, integrated GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking, microSD/SDHD memory card support, and 256 MB of flash memory—the phone also offers a speakerphone and background noise-suppressing technology for clearer calls. The phone wil be available in two versions two work with different carriers (both with UMTS/HSDPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM), and will support Wi-Fi based caling via UMA where available.

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Of course, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 comes with BlackBerry OS 5.0, enabling full HTML Web browsing, calendar and contact management, and integration with corporate email systems like Microsoft Exchange. It can also tap into BlackBerry App World—so BlackBerry users can get apps just like those flighty iPhone people—and a media player that can sync (via BlackBerry Media Sync) with iTunes or Windows Media Player—RIM says the BlackBerry Bold 9700 can play up to 38 hours of music on a single battery charge.

RIM says the BlackBerry Bold 9700 will be available in November, but didn’t offer any pricing information. Carriers are coming forward, however: AT&T plans to launch the 9700 soon for $199 after a $100 mail-in rebate, with a new two year service agreement.

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