We reported on RIM’s 2012 release schedule earlier this week and now we’re back to paint a more complete picture with RIM’s full 2012 roadmap, which is loaded with information. The deck provides details on everything from the company’s upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook with built-in 3G, to the new Curve lineup including the BlackBerry Curve 9220 and BlackBerry Curve 9320, to new features like Wi-Fi media server sharing and more. From the calendar in the document, it looks like the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone, codenamed London, is currently scheduled for release in late September, but could be pushed to October based on the roadmap, which is a long way off considering we’re looking a a relatively slow three quarters leading up to BlackBerry 10. We’ve dropped 15 slides from this massive deck into a gallery, so check out all of the images below!
Apple and other manufacturers may introduce new products with curved touchscreen displays next year, DigiTimes reported on Monday. Apple has reportedly contacted its iPad and iPhone glass suppliers, Lens Technology, G-Tech and Fuji Crystal, and will supply them with equipment for polishing glass. Curved glass displays are not typically used on smartphones, although Google and Samsung did equip the Nexus S with a concave screen and it was noticeably more comfortable during phone calls. The curves also protect the screen from scratches when a phone or tablet placed face-down on a surface. Dell also went with a curved display on its Venue Pro Windows Phone, though it opted for a concave curvature. Corning, which provides scratch-resistant screens for a number of smartphones, has already developed a curved version of its popular Gorilla Glass, but it is unclear if that screen will be used on future Apple products.
During a press event in New York City on Wednesday night we met up with Research In Motion to check out the BlackBerry Curve 9360, the latest of its BlackBerry OS 7 devices. Unlike the Torch 9850/9860 and the Bold 9900, the Curve 9360 does not offer a touchscreen display. This wasn’t a deal breaker, though, as it was one of the nicest Curve models we’ve seen to date. The 9360, which had Rogers branding, had the same top-notch keyboard as the Curves that came before it, although we prefer the Bold 9900 keyboard just a bit more. The interface felt rather smooth but we’re still not excited about the lackluster operating system. Sprint has announced that it will carry the device in the U.S. for $49.99 on contract, but it recently bumped the launch date from September 9th to sometime in October for unknown reasons. Our DSLR was on the fritz so we had to use a good old point-and-shoot, but nonetheless, be sure to check out the full gallery below.
Sprint on Tuesday announced the upcoming launch of RIM’s brand new BlackBerry Curve 9350 smartphone. Just made official Tuesday morning, the Curve 9350 features RIM’s famous candy bar design as well as GPS and Wi-Fi support, a 5-megapixel camera and the BlackBerry 7 OS. “It is exciting to see the BlackBerry Curve line continue to evolve, building upon past success,” said Sprint’s VP of product development David Owens in a statement. “This latest iteration offers the recognizable form factor our customers have come to enjoy, while adding powerful new features and innovative apps of BlackBerry 7 to deliver the smoothest and fastest BlackBerry Curve experience to date.” Sprint’s BlackBerry Curve 9350 will launch on September 9th for $79.99 with a new two-year contract. Sprint business customers may qualify for pricing as low as $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. Sprint’s full press release follows below.
BlackBerry Curve 9350 Debuts Sept. 9
for Just $79.99 from Sprint
Stunning new BlackBerry Curve 9350 is fast, affordable,
easy-to-use, full-featured and socially connected
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Aug. 23, 2011 – The next generation of Research In Motion’s (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) popular BlackBerry® Curve™ series of smartphones, the stunning new BlackBerry Curve 9350, comes to Sprint (NYSE: S) on Friday, Sept. 9, offering the latest BlackBerry operating system – BlackBerry® 7. The new BlackBerry Curve 9350 is a fast, affordable, easy-to-use, full-featured and socially connected smartphone that is as beautiful as it is functional.
The slim and stylish smartphone will cost just $79.99 (excluding taxes) with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement, after a $50 mail-in rebate via reward card1 and be available in all Sprint sales channels, including Sprint Stores, Business Sales, Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) and web sales (www.sprint.com). Sprint Business customers may qualify to get BlackBerry Curve 9350 for $49.99 (excluding taxes) on a business account with a new line or eligible upgrade and new one- or two-year service agreement, after a $50 mail-in rebate via reward card1.
“It is exciting to see the BlackBerry Curve line continue to evolve, building upon past success,” said David Owens, vice president – Product Development, Sprint. “This latest iteration offers the recognizable form factor our customers have come to enjoy, while adding powerful new features and innovative apps of BlackBerry 7 to deliver the smoothest and fastest BlackBerry Curve experience to date.”
The BlackBerry Curve 9350 smartphone offers a full QWERTY keyboard and trackpad for easy one-handed navigation and keeps users connected by allowing them to easily share moments through pictures and videos via MMS, as well as by instant message with world-class IM services like BBM™ (BlackBerry® Messenger). With easy access to social networking sites like Flickr®, MySpace and Facebook®, this smartphone provides smooth integration to keep users up to speed on what’s happening in their personal and professional lives.
Key features include:
- BlackBerry App World™, the official app store front for BlackBerry smartphones offering customization, fun and productivity
- Near Field Communications (NFC) support for a secure exchange of information between NFC-enabled devices over a very short distance
- 5MP camera with HD video capture, flash and zoom
- 512MB RAM
- 2GB microSD card included, with support for up to 32GB microSD card
- BlackBerry PlayBook support with BlackBerry Bridge™ (BlackBerry Bridge is available as a free download on BlackBerry App World)
- DataViz Docs To Go® Premium suite preloaded, for editing Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from anywhere
- Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g/n)
- Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR support
Smoother and Faster with BlackBerry 7
With BlackBerry 7, the BlackBerry Browser is significantly enhanced to provide a faster and more fluid user experience and includes optimized HTML5 performance for incredible gaming and video experiences.
Building upon the Universal Search feature introduced in BlackBerry 6, BlackBerry 7 expands the capability to include voice-activated search. This new capability makes it easier and more convenient to search for content on the smartphone or web.
BlackBerry 7 also integrates BlackBerry® Balance™, which separates personal content from corporate content, giving users the freedom and flexibility to use the smartphone for personal email, Facebook®, Twitter®, multimedia, games and other apps, while satisfying the very real need for corporate data to be highly secure and manageable. BlackBerry Balance works in conjunction with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server 5.0.3, which provides a number of unique IT policy controls, such as wiping only corporate data or blocking work-related content and apps from being copied or forwarded to personal contacts.
BlackBerry Curve 9350 requires activation on one of Sprint’s Everything Data plans plus a required $10 Premium Data add-on charge for smartphones. Sprint’s Everything Data plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM includes unlimited web, texting and calling to and from any mobile in America while on the Sprint Network, starting at just $69.99 per month plus required $10 Premium Data add-on charge – a savings of $40 per month versus Verizon’s comparable plan with unlimited talk, text and 2GB web or $10 per month versus Verizon’s 450-minute plan with unlimited text and 2GB web. (Pricing excludes taxes and surcharges.)
Sprint was unbeaten among major wireless carriers for customer satisfaction according to results from the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index. In addition to tying for first place among wireless carriers, Sprint was also the number one most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, during the last three years, according to the survey.
Continuing on its peculiar path for BlackBerry 7 device announcements, RIM finally took the wraps off three new additions to its Curve smartphone line in the middle of the night. The BlackBerry Curve 9350, 9360 and 9370 smartphones, like the Curve models that came before them, take the best of what RIM has to offer and stuff it into an affordable package that sheds the bells and whistles. Spec highlights include RIM’s slimmest Curve design ever, GPS and Wi-Fi support, 5-megapixel cameras and the BlackBerry 7 OS. ”These new models will build on the incredible success of the BlackBerry Curve line and further expand the largest global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in our history,” said RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis in a statement. “The new BlackBerry Curve smartphones are absolutely stunning and offer a significant performance upgrade with an unmatched mobile social experience for the millions of feature phone users in the market as well as our existing Curve customers.” RIM’s new Curve line will launch this month in Canada and beginning next month in additional markets. RIM’s full press release follows below.
RIM Introduces New BlackBerry Curve Smartphones
Sleek, fast and easy-to-use smartphones feature next-generation BlackBerry 7 OS and deliver smooth social experiences wherever you go
Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced three new BlackBerry® smartphones featuring the BlackBerry® 7 Operating System (OS). The all-new BlackBerry® Curve™ 9350, BlackBerry® Curve™ 9360 and BlackBerry Curve™ 9370 smartphone are exciting additions to the popular BlackBerry Curve series.
These new models are designed to address a large and important segment of the global mobile phone market where customers are looking to upgrade their existing feature phone or existing BlackBerry Curve with an affordable, easy-to-use, full-featured and socially-connected smartphone.
“These new models will build on the incredible success of the BlackBerry Curve line and further expand the largest global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in our history,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The new BlackBerry Curve smartphones are absolutely stunning and offer a significant performance upgrade with an unmatched mobile social experience for the millions of feature phone users in the market as well as our existing Curve customers.”
Everything You Need
The new BlackBerry Curve smartphones are slim, stylish and simply beautiful. They are ergonomically designed with a comfortable and iconic keyboard for fast, accurate typing and an optical trackpad for easy, one-handed navigation. GPS and Wi-Fi® support are also included, as well as a 5MP camera with flash and video recording so that memories can be captured and instantly shared on social networks. The microSD/SDHC slot supports up to 32 GB memory cards for additional media storage.
In addition to supporting the new BlackBerry 7 OS, the new BlackBerry Curve smartphones feature a range of powerful hardware enhancements including upgraded processors, displays and memory, and built-in support for NFC (Near Field Communications), a new technology that is enabling many exciting capabilities, including the ability to pair accessories or read SmartPoster tags with a simple tap of the smartphone.
Next-Generation BlackBerry 7 OS
BlackBerry 7 introduces a next generation BlackBerry browser which combines the dramatically improved performance of the advanced WebKit browser engine with the hardware enhancements in the new BlackBerry Curve smartphones to deliver a significantly faster, more fluid web browsing experience. Additional enhancements to this next generation BlackBerry browser have also enabled smoother navigation and optimized HTML5 performance for incredible gaming and video experiences.
BlackBerry 7 OS also includes a number of other pre-loaded applications and integrated functionality for increased productivity and collaboration right out of the box. The Premium version of Documents To Go is included free of charge, offering users powerful document editing features as well as a native PDF document viewer. BlackBerry® Protect is also pre-loaded*, offering customers the peace of mind that personal data can be backed up and secured in the cloud. With BlackBerry Protect, users can locate their misplaced BlackBerry smartphone using GPS or remotely turn up the ringer for an audible notification if their handset is close-by. BlackBerry® Balance (announced May 2, 2011) is integrated in BlackBerry 7, allowing users to enjoy the full BlackBerry smartphone experience for both work and personal purposes without compromising the IT department’s need for advanced security and IT controls. The popular universal search capability has also been enhanced with support for voice-activated search, so users can now simply speak to begin searching their device and the web for information.
Best In Class Communications and Social Experiences
The next generation BlackBerry Curve smartphones deliver the world’s best mobile communications and social experiences with a highly refined and integrated suite of phone, email, messaging and social apps to keep users connected and productive throughout the day.
The latest release of BBM™ (BlackBerry® Messenger) is pre-loaded and now extends the real time BBM experience to a range of other apps, such as Foursquare, allowing users to easily interact with each other from within the ‘BBM connected’ app (see separate announcement on July 28, 2011).
The updated Social Feeds (2.0) app has been extended to capture updates from media, podcasts, and favorites all in one consolidated view. The new Facebook® for BlackBerry smartphones (2.0) app introduces features like Facebook chat and BBM integration that makes it easier for users to connect with their Facebook friends in real time utilizing push notifications. Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones also delivers a deeply integrated experience including use of real time push notifications and Social Feeds integration.
The BlackBerry Curve 9350, 9360 and 9370 smartphones are expected to be available from carriers in Canada this month and from other carriers around the world beginning in September. Availability dates and pricing for specific devices from specific carriers will be announced in conjunction with RIM’s partners.
In addition to the possible Apple iPhone 5 launch date, our source at Telus has shared an internal document that reveals a slew of release dates for some of the most hotly-anticipated handsets on this side of the equator. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 — what’s sure to be RIM’s finest Blackberry ever — should be available for purchase starting around August 15th in North America. Holding out for the upgraded BlackBerry Torch 2? The follow-up to the original model should be available around August 15th as well, in Canada at least. The BlackBerry Torch 9860 (full touchscreen version) is slated to touch down on or around August 22nd with the BlackBerry Curve Apollo bringing up the rear on August 29th. Hit the break for more.
The BlackBerry Orlando, the touchscreen low-cost Curve, is currently set to be released on October 1st, and the BlackBerry Bellagio, a touch and type version based on the BlackBerry 9700 is also set to debut on that date alongside the iPhone 5, as we already noted. Lastly, it’s not over for October 1st as the unannounced Sony Ericsson Urishi ST18a, a thin Gingerbread Android handset, is slated to also launch on the first day of October in Canada as well. Finally, the entry-level Samsung Cooper (Galaxy Ace) should launch on October 15th. We expect most the aforementioned handsets to be released in the U.S. very soon after the Canadian release dates, or possibly even before in some cases. All the juicy details can be seen in our image gallery above.