Midmonth Summary of BlackBerry: OS 6 and More

Not all of us have the time to constantly surf BlackBerry news and rumor sites to keep up with all the latest developments coming out of Research In Motion (RIM). That is why I put together a nice little guide to for quick reference. I call it my “Midmonth Summary of BlackBerry.” Now when someone starts spouting off on how much they are anticipating some new feature in a BlackBerry you have never even heard of, you can offer a firm rebuttal. One that makes them realize that you do know what you are talking about and that their geek lingo is not appreciated during dinner conversation.

Here we go:

The BlackBerry “Cobalt” Tablet

This still not yet announced but highly rumored tablet just received another “confirmation” this week. Expected to come out sometime near the end of this year, it will sport a 7” screen, a 1GHz processor, video conferencing ability through a front-facing camera and Flash support with hardware acceleration on the upcoming BlackBerry OS 6.

The BlackBerry Bold 9800 “Torch”

Torch 9800

The elusive “Torch” has been popping up in quite a lot of pictures recently and even “OEM” parts are appearing on Asian websites.  Expect it to make an appearance sooner rather than later this year sometime in the 3rd quarter. AT&T will reportedly get an exclusive contract initially and the phone sports quite a number of features to keep power users satisfied. With a 5 megapixel camera, 3.2” touchscreen (with multitouch if you believe the videos from RIM mean anything) and the standard full QWERTY keyboard RIM has made a name for itself will all make an appearance. It too will be running on BlackBerry OS 6.

The BlackBerry Curve 9300 “Kepler”

Curve 9300

The little “Kepler” has been getting a bad rap since it was discovered that it is basically a 3G-upgraded Curve 8520. It looks like T-Mobile has locked up the initial release and the FCC already has the RF materials it goes over up on its website. August launch dates are being whispered. While not in the same performance range as the 9800, the little 9300 is sure to please customers not willing to sell a kidney for a smartphone and it might even get an update to run OS 6 eventually like its bigger cousin.

BlackBerry OS 6

RIM’s new OS promises a lot and despite (or maybe because of) early comparisons being drawn between its similarity with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS, it will definitely make a splash in North America. Multitouch support for touchscreen phones, integrated social media feeds and  a web browser that does not suck (it is based on Webkit, the same engine Apple and Google use for their mobile browsers) all will be making an appearance here. The best news is that RIM has confirmed that it is coming out in the 3rd quarter—August at the earliest and October at the latest. Now if only we could get our hands on BlackBerry App World 2.0.

So there you have it—a recap of all the most important BlackBerry news from the first half of the month. Now go out and brag that you know what is up. Or more importantly, use the information as a stepping stone to do more research before you go out and end up with buyer’s remorse for picking up a phone that turned out to be obsolete within a week.

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