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Photos: RIM's NFC BlackBerry Bold 9900

Hybrid touch-Qwerty smartphone is RIM's thinnest Blackberry yet...

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Topic: Mobility
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Hybrid touch-Qwerty smartphone is RIM's thinnest Blackberry yet...

RIM has unveiled a new BlackBerry Bold smartphone at its BlackBerry World user conference in Orlando. RIM said the BlackBerry Bold 9900, pictured above, is its thinnest Blackberry handset to date. The hybrid touch-Qwerty handset features a 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen VGA display with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, and runs the latest iteration of the BlackBerry OS - 7 - also announced at the conference.

BlackBerry 7 OS includes an enhanced web browser with support for additional HTML5 elements such as HTML5 Video and faster web page rendering. There's also voice-activated search, and support for BlackBerry Balance - RIM's software system for enabling work and personal data to be managed separately on the device so an IT department could, for instance, choose to wipe only corporate data from a handset.

The new version of the OS also includes the full version of Docs To Go, which enables users to view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on their handset, and view PDF files.

The BlackBerry maker also announced plans to launch a single web-based console for IT administrators later this year, to help distribute software and manage policies, inventory, security and services for BlackBerry devices and also other mobile devices running Google's Android OS and Apple's iOS platform.

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The BlackBerry Bold 9900, shown above, includes near-field communications (NFC) technology - a short-range wireless technology that can be used for contactless payments, mobile ticketing and other uses, such as reading data from smart tags.

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The handset has a 1.2GHz processor. For connectivity, the 9900 includes 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and GPS. There's also an accelerometer, digital compass and a proximity sensor.

While the BlackBerry Bold 9900 offers tri-Band HSPA+, Quad-Band GSM/EDGE, RIM also announced a CDMA flavour of the handset - known as the BlackBerry Bold 9930.

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Here's the back of the 9900. The Bold has a five-megapixel camera that supports 720-pixel HD video recording.

RIM said the device is expected to go on sale this summer. Availability for specific international markets has not yet been announced.

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RIM also dropped a few tablet-related announcements at its BlackBerry World conference, unveiling a Facebook app for its PlayBook slate. Pictured above is a view of a Facebook news feed, as seen on the PlayBook's seven-inch screen.

The Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook app lets tablet users view and add Facebook friends, view photos and videos, comment on and 'like' content in the news feed.

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The Facebook for BlackBerry PlayBook app also supports Facebook Chat - enabling side-by-side viewing of online contacts and active conversations, as shown above. RIM said there are now more than 30 million users of its Facebook for BlackBerry app.

The BlackBerry maker also announced that its PlayBook Video Chat video-calling app is available on the BlackBerry App World app store. It will also be distributed to existing PlayBook owners via an over-the-air update, according to RIM.

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