Cellular's Competitive Heat Turns Up
By Joseph Palenchar On Aug 22 2011 - 3:01am
NEW YORK –
The competitive heat in the wireless industry
turned up in tandem with August temperatures.
Research In Motion was out to get its mojo back in
the face of declining smartphone share by expanding
its selection of touchscreen smartphones with faster
processors and other enhancements in what it called
its largest-ever worldwide product launch.
For its part, Sprint said it would drive 4G smartphones
into more hands with its plans for a $99 4G
phone from Samsung.
And Chinese supplier Huawei tried to burnish its
technology image by unveiling its thin 1GHz Vision
Android phone with aluminum-alloy unibody construction
and curved touchscreen.
Here’s what the companies plan:
Five new touchscreen
phones mark the debut of
the company’s BlackBerry 7 OS.
The first phones with the QNX OS
are due next year.
All five models feature color
touchscreens, and three add
hard QWERTY keyboards. All
also offer such improvements as
1.2GHz processors, 720p HD
video recording, and dedicated
24-bit high-resolution graphics
The products include the Black-
Berry Bold 9900 and 9930. Both
are the thinnest BlackBerry smartphones
ever, at 0.41 inches deep,
and both are the first Bolds to add
a touchscreen to supplement their
BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard.
They’re also the first BlackBerry
phones with built-in near-field
As previously reported, the
two new Bolds feature dual-band
802.11 Wi-Fi, with Wi-Fi b/g/n at
2.4 GHz plus 802.11a/n at 5GHz,
brushed stainless-steel frame, optical
trackpad, 8GB onboard memory,
MicroSD slot and 5-megpixel
The other three RIM products are
the BlackBerry Torch 9810, which
features a 3.2-inch touchscreen
and slide-out QWERTY keyboard,
and the all-touch BlackBerry Torch
9850 and 9860. The latter two offer
the largest-ever displays on a
BlackBerry, at 3.7 inches.
The quintet will roll out worldwide
through 225 carriers and
others starting in August, RIM
said. Three of the models will be
available from AT&T, and all will be
AT&T’s first 4G 14.4Mbps HSPA+
BlackBerry phones. All of the AT&T
models will also operate in foreign
2.1GHz HSPA+ networks. Pricing
The first of the new BlackBerry
phones from AT&T will be the Torch
9810 slider, which the carrier will
offer on an exclusive basis at $49 beginning Aug 21.
The second-generation Torch will replace AT&T’s firstgeneration
Torch, which also comes with touchscreen
and slide-out keyboard. Pricing wasn’t announced.
In comparing its new Torch 9810 touchscreen
slider to the first-generation Torch, AT&T pointed out
that processor speed doubles to 1.2GHz, included
memory goes to 8GB from 4GMB, RAM increases 50
percent to 768MB, and the display goes to 480 by
Sometime later this year, AT&T will offer the Black-
Berry Bold 9900 and the all-touch BlackBerry Torch
9860, which will be AT&T’s first all-touch BlackBerry
smartphone. Pricing wasn’t announced.
The Bold 9900 is also destined for other U.S. carriers,
as is the Bold 9300. Previously, T-Mobile said
it would offer the Bold 9900 on its 1700/2100MHz
4G HSPA+ network with international
4G roaming on the 900MHz and
For its part, Sprint announced
plans for Aug. 21 availability of the
BlackBerry Bold 9930 at $249 and
BlackBerry Torch 9850 at $149.
Verizon announced Aug. 25 availability
of the Bold 9930 at $249.
Both Sprint models and Verizon’s
Bold 9930 will operate in 3G
CDMA 1X EV-DO Rev. A mode in the
800/1900MHz bands in the U.S. and
in the 3G HSPA bands in foreign markets.
They also operate in quadband
The $99 Samsung Conquer
4G, Sprint’s 25th 4G device, will
be the carrier’s first 4G smartphone
to launch at less than $100 when it
arrives in stores in late August.
Despite the low price, the phone
sports Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS,
1GHz Qualcomm processor, dual
cameras, and Sprint ID., which lets
users download packages of apps,
widgets, shortcuts, ringtones and
The device will be available Aug. 21
through Sprint’s direct and indirect
Other features include 3.5-inch
320 by 480 touchscreen, 3.2-megapixel
rear-facing camera with flash
and zoom, 1.3-megapixel front-facing
camera for video chats, Wi-Fi
802.11b/g/n, included 2GB MicroSD
card, stereo Bluetooth and 3G/4G
Mobile Hotspot capability, supporting
up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices.
Although a timetable for
U.S. availability wasn’t announced,
Huawei said it will roll the Huawei Vision
in selected markets beginning in
Vision features carousel user interface,
Android Gingerbread 2.3 OS,
1GHz Qualcomm processor, aluminum-
alloy uni-body choice of colors
and curved touchscreen.
Vision, which measures only 9.9mm
at its thinnest point, features 720p
video recording, 5-megapixel autofocus
camera with LED flash, stereo Bluetooth and Wi-