The BlackBerry vs. iPhone battle continues, this time with RIM's new entry into the ring: the BlackBerry 9000, aka the BlackBerry Bold.
The first improvement of note is that the new 9000 series of BlackBerries looks to have all the disparate features of the various devices in the 8000 series (BlackBerry Curve, BlackBerry Pearl, etc.) - WiFi, GPS, digital camera, video capture - into one package. Now you don't have to decide between features, giving up one in favor of another; you can get them all in a single device - and that's a real improvement.License for phpBay Pro is invalid.
Connectivity is another major improvement in the BlackBerry Bold, as it's a 3G smartphone (something Apple hasn't even delivered on…yet). Storage space on the Bold is bigger and bolder too, now at 1 GB, and now the memory card slot is external (on the outside of the device) rather than internal (in the battery compartment). There's still the standard ear bud compatible 3.5 mm stereo jack, and the Bold's speakers are loud and clear.
The BlackBerry Bold further improves upon earlier BlackBerry models with a speedier processor and a half-VGA display with a higher resolution (480 x 320, as compared with the former model's 320 x 240). The sharper contrast of the display makes text much easier to read than ever before on a BlackBerry. The OS that the Bold comes bundled with, BlackBerry OS 4.6, is also improved, with animated icons in the menu and a newer, better web browser that renders web pages like they would appear on your regular PC or laptop.
Now, it is claimed that the outer casing is produced of a lower-grade plastic than that of earlier BlackBerry models, possibly to help control the price of a more feature-filled product, but it opens up the possibility of turning off a portion of prospective buyers as feeling too cheap and shabby to last. Surely BlackBerry has made sure that the device is as sturdy, solid, and durable as other comparable smartphones, but in the marketplace perception is everything, and some people just may not like the new look and feel. Clearly it's a risk RIM is willing to take.
For people still interested in the newest BlackBerry, patience may be highly rewarded, as according to the rumor mill, RIM may have a touch screen version of the Bold already in the works. The Wall Street Journal projects this will see light of day in the 3rd quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, the BlackBerry Bold is scheduled to be released this summer, probably in June 2008.
Can people hold out that long for your BlackBerry Bold? Is it worth the wait? How well will smartphone users take to the BlackBerry Bold? For the answers to those questions, we can only wait and see. But one thing's for sure; celebrity product-tester John Mayer seems happy with his. That's saying something.