BlackBerry 9800 Torch Coming to AT&T

The guys over at Engaget have gotten their hands on a near-release version of Research In Motion Ltd.’s (RIM) most anticipated smartphone of the year. The markings on the phone give it all away. It is official: the BlackBerry 9800 Torch is coming to AT&T.

While some of you all sigh, and others cheer, rest assured that a Verizon Wireless version has to be somewhere in the works.  With all of the rumors of the iPhone 4 appearing at a Verizon store near you sometime around the end of the year, RIM would have to be crazy to keep this new gem on only one carrier. Then again, Verizon is getting the BlackBerry Storm 3 , so maybe this is going to be AT&T’s baby for at least a little while.

Reports say that the BlackBerry 9800 is running BlackBerry OS 6 in a pre-release form, but we still have gotten no official word on the name. “Torch,” “Bold” and “Slide” have all been circulating as possibilities. With support for WCDMA bands I, II, V and VI, the new phone will be operable over most of Europe and Japan—excellent news for business travelers.

Since the 9800 is expected to be out by August, here is a quick rundown on the specifics that are known:

-          A Webkit-based browser (like the iPhone)

-          BlackBerry OS 6

-          A touch-screen

-          Slide-out keyboard

-          WCDMA bands I, II, V and VI for international travelers

-          An expected price range of $199 to $299

Little is known about the processors in the Torch, RAM or storage, but the Storm 3 will allegedly have a 1 Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM, so do not expect the Torch to disappoint.

Are you excited and ready to pick up one of these sometime in August? AT&T as the network going to discourage you? iPhone 4 killer anyone? Let me know.

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