RIM's Bold stroke

Research in Motion offers competitor to Apple's iPhone

Research in Motion has announced the imminent introduction of the BlackBerry Bold 9000 smart phone, a product designed to compete with Apple's slick iPhone.

RIM has clearly opted to put more emphasis on styling with the Bold 9000, a slim black device that sports a satin chrome finish and a leather-like backplate that can be swapped out for custom colors. The Bold promises to wow users with its vivid display: According to RIM, the 480x320 pixel color LCD is fused to the undersurface of the lens, giving the display greater clarity and vibrancy. The Bold 9000 also offers new acoustic design, which includes noise cancellation technology.

But the Bold is also packed with power features. For starters, it is the first BlackBerry smart phone to support tri-band band High-Speed Downlink Packet Access networks worldwide and is equipped with with an integrated Global Positioning System and Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g). It comes with 128M of flash memory and 1G of on-board storage memory in addition to a micro Secure Digital/SD High-Capacity memory card slot.

What's more, using the integrated Global Positioning System, the Bold can pinpoint a user's location using applications such as BlackBerry Maps and other location-based applications or services.

And, of course, the Bold includes the powerful e-mail capabilities that have made the family of devices ubiquitous in many agencies and departments. One possible snag for federal users, however, is the device's 2 megapixel camera, a feature many organizations consider a security risk. RIM, however, says that system administrators will be able to disable the camera if desired.

The BlackBerry Bold 9000 smart phone is expected to be available from wireless carriers this summer. www.RIM.com

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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