RIM unveils new BlackBerry to counter Apple iPhone

Research In Motion has unveiled a new BlackBerry aimed at wooing consumers away from Apple’s iPhone and other rivals, Reuters reports—but analysts said the handset won’t blow away the competition. Even though the main features of the BlackBerry Torch, including a touch screen and slide-out keyboard, were well-known within the industry, investors registered their disappointment, driving RIM’s Toronto-listed shares down 4 percent. The Torch will go on sale in the United States on August 12 for $199.99 with a two-year contract—about the same price as an iPhone. The new BlackBerry uses a revamped operating system and has a faster and easier-to-use web browser. Analysts said the Torch does not represent a major advance, but its consumer-friendly features were enough to help RIM to catch up to rivals. While the BlackBerry has long been the gold standard for corporate and government customers because of its speedy, secure eMail service, critics said it needs a big overhaul to expand its popularity beyond business customers. One of the new features RIM touted is the ability to search any application, media content, or contact by typing a word on in Torch’s “universal search” function. The device also comes with a 5-megapixel camera with a flash and a built-in GPS for location-based applications…

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