Research in Motion (RIM) has just officially announced -- but not yet released -- its latest converged device, the BlackBerry Curve.
This will be one of this company's next generation devices with multimedia capabilities, including playing music and video.
It will be very similar to the BlackBerry 8800, which launched earlier this year. This means it will have a built-in QWERTY keyboard and a 320-by-240-pixel (QVGA) display.
The Curve will also have a microSD card slot for additional storage, especially of multimedia files. It will support the 2 GB cards that are available now, and will be able to use the 4 GB cards that will go on sale later this year. RIM didn't explicitly say so, but this device almost certainly will be one of the first with SDHC support.
Unlike its predecessor, the upcoming model will have a built-in 2 megapixel camera and Wi-Fi short range-wireless networking. It will lack the 8800's GPS receiver, though.
In addition, the Curve will offer Bluetooth 2.0 and a trackball in place of a scrollwheel or D-pad.
Multimedia is Key Here
RIM is positioning this smartphone as a device for consumers, and so it playing up its multimedia capabilities.
Users will have the option of listening to music through the built-in speaker, headphones connected to the 3.5 mm stereo jack, or Bluetooth stereo headphones.
The Curve will ship with Roxio Media Manager for BlackBerry, which will allow users to search for media files on their computer, view and organize them, create MP3 music files from CDs, add audio tags, create playlists, and automatically copy or convert pictures, music, and videos for optimal playback on the smartphone.
This BlackBerry's 2 megapixel camera will have a 5x digital zoom and a built-in flash.
As part of today's announcement, RIM said that AT&T will be offering this BlackBerry sometime this spring, but it didn't say exactly when.
The company also said consumers will be able to get the Curve from other wireless carriers around the world, but gave no additional details.
According to rumor, this smartphone may debut from T-Mobile USA as early as next week. So, GSM fans, this device will be hitting the shelves of your local carrier very shortly.