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RIM Launches New BlackBerry Pearl, Bold

Research In Motion has launched a 3G version of its popular BlackBerry Pearl smartphone and a new Bold model that supports Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks.

Monday’s announcement comes as the company opens its three annual presentations Tuesday in Orlando, Florida.

Based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM is touting the BlackBerry Pearl 3G as its smallest model yet.

The handset is 50 millimeters wide, weighs about 94 grams and includes support for 3G networks, a 3.2 megapixel camera, GPS, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and an optical trackpad.

The new Pearl features a high-resolution 360 x 400 pixel display, an improvement over the Pearl 8100’s 240 x 260 pixel display, and a faster processor.

According to RIM, the Pearl 3G can appeal to consumers who want a powerful smartphone with a more traditional feel, as opposed to touchscreen models like Apple’s iPhone.

“We expect the new BlackBerry Pearl 3G to appeal to a broad range of mobile users, including many customers looking to move away from a traditional phone without sacrificing a very compact and modern design,” said Carlo Chiarello, Vice President of Portable Devices at RIM Product Management.

Telus Mobility and Rogers said they will offer Pearl 3G starting in May. Bell Mobility also said it would carry the new model.

Telus announced that Pearl 3G pricing will start at $29.99 for the three year plan. Rogers and Bell have yet to release details on availability and pricing.

RIM also announced that it will launch the BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone, the first Bold model designed for subscribers on the popular CDMA network in the US.

The Bold 9650 also supports 3G networks in North America and overseas and features a full QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad, 3.2 megapixel camera and integrated Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g).

RIM said the smartphone is expected to be available on US carriers starting in May.

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