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RIM spotlights BlackBerry Torch

by Sarah Griffiths on 4 August 2010, 10:56


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BlackBerry bonanza

Research in Motion (RIM) has unveiled BlackBerry Torch 9800, its first new handset to feature the new BlackBerry 6 operating system.

The smartphone giant has buddied up with US network AT&T to roll out its new handset which boasts a QWERTY keyboard and full touch screen. Users can type messages on the keyboard or using the touch screen and browse the internet using ‘pinch' hand gestures to zoom and swiping motions.

Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO at AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, said the Torch creates "a true generational shift in hardware and operating system".

The torch, which is set to hit AT&T retailers from 12 August and cost about $199 with a two year plan, also comes with 4GB of memory and a 5 megapixel camera and plays on the popularity of social networking with MySpace, Twitter and Facebook all preinstalled on the handset.

RIM has also rolled out its eagerly anticipated BlackBerry 6 operating system to other handsets, with the exception of Storm in a bid to better compete with other function-rich smartphones.

The revamped operating system features a redesigned interface that works with a touch screen and trackpad, expanded messaging capabilities, a new search tool and better multimedia experience. 

Experts had warned the smartphone manufacturer must come up with an OS to rival Apple's iOS 4 and Google's Android after RIM's smartphone market share started to drift. The company will be hoping BlackBerry 6 is well received and provides the sales boost it desires.