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BlackBerry Thunder 9500, RIM's First Full Touchscreen Smartphone

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After only a few days from the announcement of BlackBerry Bold 9000, currently the most advanced smartphone to come from RIM, a new device is rumored to make its appearance soon: BlackBerry Thunder 9500. Unlike the official 9000, the 9500 doesn't have a QWERTY keyboard and it will be the first handset created by the Canadian manufacturer to come with a full-touc According to Boy Genius Report, the new Thunder will be available worldwide, but only from Vodafone and Verizon. In case you're wondering why the smartphone will come via these two carriers in particular, we don't have the answer, but we assume that RIM made some sort of deal with the giant Vodafone. And, since Vodafone owns 45% of Verizon, there you have it – the BlackBerry 9500 will also be offered by the second largest carrier in the US.

Regarding the new smartphone's features, there aren't too many details for the moment, but the device should come with a touchscreen display (of unknown size, resolution or color number), only 4 hardware keys, plus GSM, HSPA and CDMA EV-DO Rev. C connectivity. In terms of design, the 9500 will have a similar form factor as the Bold 9000, which is obviously a good thing. The available image with Thunder 9500 is only a mock-up, but the real device will most probably look something like that.

BlackBerry Thunder 9500 should be officially announced in the third quarter of 2008, coming with an unknown (but high) price tag.

If the new smartphone packs other advanced features besides the ones mentioned above, RIM might have in it a true competitor for Apple's 3G iPhone that should be launched this summer. I can already see a "tough fight" between the two devices, in the US, where AT&T will have exclusivity for the 3G iPhone and Verizon will be the sole carrier to offer the BlackBerry Thunder. h interface.

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