By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: The flagship BlackBerry Bold 9700 was today launched in Sydney, with the manufacturer, Research in Motion, targeting the nascent Y Generation as a key new demographic.
Whereas previous BlackBerry models, including the uber-popular Bold models, have been primarily marketed at business professionals and SME decision makers, the new Bold will be directly targeted at the under 30s age group, many of which are currently transitioning from high school or university into their first full-time job.
Talking about the target market is RIM managing director, ANZ, Adele Beachley.
“Everybody who loves the original Bold will like this device,” Beachley said. “It’s targeted at successful professionals: mid-to-high levels, executives; but we think it will appeal to the Gen Y transitionists equally, those people who are first into their career, moving up in their career, and really looking for something that harnesses the speed of a 3G network but also in which they’re able to use all of the messaging aspects and multimedia aspects of the Bold 9700.”
Key features of the new BlackBerry Bold include 2.44-inch light-sensing display; full QWERTY keyboard; built-in Wi-Fi; 3.2-megapixel camera; 5.0 operating system for push email and calendar enhancements; music, photo and video playback; and touch-sensitive trackpad.
Beachley said that this release was part of a concerted push by Research in Motion to maintain the momentum it had built through its recent releases.
“We’ve got a great line-up coming into Christmas: we had the 8900 launch earlier in the year, the 8520 launch…last week, really great, lots of momentum, and we’ve also celebrated with the opening of our office in February this year, first time we’ve had our permanent Australian and New Zealand headquarters in this area of the world.”
Beachley continued to say that Research in Motion had sold 50 million BlackBerrys since inception, with the smartphone now available in over 150 countries through 425 different carriers.
The new BlackBerry Bold will be available in late November. Pricing and carriers are not yet confirmed, though at the launch event today, the two display models observed by the writer were running off Vodafone and Optus.