There have been rumors of a new BlackBerry design, often labeled the BlackBerry 9000 series, and today RIM posted the official announcement of the BlackBerry Bold smartphone that will be coming this Summer to a carrier near you. RIM also announced a US$150 million mobile applications and services development fund similar to what Apple has done with its developer fund a few months ago. RIM is serious about the smartphone market and isn't about to give up to Apple, Microsoft, or Nokia anytime soon.
The upcoming BlackBerry Bold smartphone (aka 9000 series) will support tri-band HSDPA networks and include integrated GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth radios. This baby will run with a speedy 624MHz processor and include 128MB Flash and 1GB on-board storage capacity, along with a microSD slot. The display is 480x320 high resolution and is not a touch display as some rumors stated. A major weakness with BlackBerry devices has been the web browser, but the press release states that this new browswer will support full desktop-style HTML and also allow streaming via RTSP - real-time streaming protocol. The device features a 2 megapixel camera with integrated flash. 5x digitial zoom is also supported, but I pretty much write off digitial zooming so this number means very little to me.
There was no pricing, release dates (only this summer), or carriers stated in the press release, but The Boy Genius Report stated it will be coming to AT&T first with a 1700 MHz model for T-Mobile following after.
RIM also announced a US$150 million venture capital fund for mobile applications and services. As stated in the press release, the BlackBerry Partners Fund is being formed to focus on applications and services for the BlackBerry platform and other mobile platforms including mobile commerce (payments, advertising, retailing and banking), vertical and horizontal enterprise applications, communications, social networking, location-based applications and services (navigation and mapping), media and entertainment, and lifestyle and personal productivity applications. There isn't much more information provided on the fund, but an email address/hyperlink is given on the site to recieve more information.