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BlackBerry Bold to hit stores Nov. 4

Rush of smart phone launches recently, with the Thunder coming soon

October 22, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - AT&T Inc. said today its BlackBerry Bold smart phone will go on sale Nov. 4 starting at $299.99 with a two-year contract.

The device will operate on AT&T's HSDPA network in more than 300 U.S. cities and on similar networks in 60 countries, including Korea and Japan, the carrier said.

The Bold was first announced in May, when rumors first circulated about the BlackBerry Thunder, which Verizon Wireless will begin selling later in the year. The Bold had earlier been referred to as the BlackBerry 9000.

The Bold features a smaller screen than the Thunder, but it also has a QWERTY keyboard, instead of an on-screen keyboard. It boasts a powerful 624-MHz mobile processor, with 1GB of onboard storage, which can be upgraded to 16GB with an SD expansion slot. Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi are also provided.

AT&T said that the Bold can run cellular video and mobile music services, but also noted that it will work with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, allowing advanced IT administration and security. Verizon Wireless has touted both the consumer and business-user qualities of the BlackBerry Storm as well, noting that IT managers have come to rely on BlackBerry security more than other devices.

The announcement of Bold's availability came on the same day that T-Mobile USA Inc. put the G1 Android phone on sale, amid a season of smart-phone launches that included the July iPhone 3G launch by Apple Inc.

Motorola Inc. this week also said it is building its own Android phone, with a touch screen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.

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