As expected, Research In Motion (RIM) revealed its new smartphone device today, the BlackBerry Torch 9800, and a new operating system, as it battles to maintain its lead in a market where the Apple iPhone and Google Android operating system have rapidly established themselves.
Research in Motion on Tuesday introduced the BlackBerry Torch, a touchscreen and sliding keyboard device that will be the first to feature the sixth version of the company’s phone software.
The phone, which goes on sale on August 12 will be an AT&T exclusive. New, or otherwise upgrade eligible customers will be able to get it for $199 (Check out new prices and buy it from Amazon) with a two-year contract. There’s no word yet on if, or how much it will cost off-contract.
The marquee feature of the device, besides the touchscreen and QWERTY combination , is the inclusion of the BlackBerry 6 operating system, which features a WebKit-based Web browser, universal search and contextual menus. RIM has also built in a social feeds application that can group together updates from several social networks, and pipe them into one stream.
“With a new user interface, new browser and new handset design, the highly anticipated BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6 deliver integrated and uncompromising capabilities for consumers and business professionals that preserve the industry-leading strengths of the BlackBerry platform while adding exciting new dimensions,” said RIM co-ceo Mike Lazaridis.