New BlackBerry Curves Introduced, Sprint Sets Release Date

A busy month of new devices from Research In Motion culminates with the companys release of three new BlackBerry Curve smartphones.

The Canadian smartphone giant says all three Curves the 9350, the 9360 and the 9370  will run on its new BlackBerry 7 operating system. Top brass are glowing.

“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,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO at Research In Motion. 

The new Curves include the iconic BlackBerry keyboard and an optical trackpad. You also get GPS and Wi-Fi support, a 5MP camera with flash and video recording. An SD card slot makes storage upgradeable to 32GB. The smartphones have upgraded processors, displays and memory. Also included is NFC support to assist in mobile payments.

Sprint announced that it will start selling its version of the Curve on Sept. 9, for just $79.99 after rebate, as long as you sign up for a new, two-year service contract. No word yet on a release date from Verizon Wireless or AT&T, but both are expected to carry the device.

Carriers are rolling out new versions of the BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Torch this week, making August a big month for RIM, which has seen its smartphone market share plummet in recent months, particularly in the U.S. More and more consumers are turning to iPhones and Android devices and the enterprise market that RIM once dominated is now up for the taking. Yet there are still some international markets where the BlackBerry dominates. Well be able to gauge RIMs future in this space a lot better when quarterly smartphone sales numbers are released in October.

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