I’ve been pretty excited about the new BlackBerry Curve 8900 that my office handed me to replace a prehistoric 8800-series machine. Now there’s a new BlackBerry device, the Tour, which is making its debut this summer. So naturally, I rushed to check out the specs on the web to see what I missed.
Here’s what it’s got: 4.4 inches tall, 2.4 inches wide and 0.6 inch thick. There’s a 3.2 megapixel camera, enhanced media player with 256MB built-in memory, video playback and recording capability, and other consumer-friendly features. At under 5 ounces, it’s a little heavier than the Curve 8900, but it doesn’t look that much different.
But Research in Motion Co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie told Reuters this latest phone is a “big step forward.” They’re calling it a “world phone”, which means globetrotters can easily access voice and data services on networks outside their home country.
Like the Curve, the Tour is meant to appeal to both executives and regular folks, i.e. those who don’t wear suits but like to surf, e-mail and take pictures on their smartphones.
The Tour will launch with Verizon and Sprint in the US, and Telus and Bell in Canada. But long before then, we’ll get a temperature check on RIM. It’s due to report earnings this week. And analysts expect the Canadian company to do just fine, although it remains to be seen how Apple’s aggressive new pricing on the iPhone will impact BlackBerry sales going forward.