New BlackBerry Torch in SA
Cape Town - Research In Motion has launched the new BlackBerry Torch in South Africa.
The launch was widely expected given that the company has recently announced upgrades to its entire range of smartphones, including an all-touch Curve 9380.
The new device will sport the new BlackBerry 7 OS which has passed security criteria for evaluation assurance level 4+.
"Building on the popular design of the BlackBerry Torch 9800, the new BlackBerry Torch 9810 is faster with high performance hardware features and the new BlackBerry 7 OS delivering an enhanced multimedia experience," the company said.
RIM is under some pressure internationally as competition from Android-powered smartphones dominate market share and the company faces a declining market share.
Research firm Gartner revealed that 60.5 million Android-powered smartphones were sold in the third quarter, giving the operating system a 52.5% market share, up from 25.3% in the same quarter a year ago.
RIM saw the largest decline with its market share falling to 11% from 15.4% on sales of 12.7 million units, Gartner reported.
"Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems," Gartner principal analyst Roberta Cozza said.
The new Torch features an 8.1cm touch screen and users will be hoping that the battery lives up to the display.
"We believe that customers in South Africa will be thrilled by the faster performance, enhanced browsing and richer multimedia delivered by this powerful new BlackBerry 7 smartphone," said Rui Brites, director of product management for Africa at RIM.
RIM promises that browsing on the new device will be 40% faster than the previous due to a WebKit engine and upgraded 1.2GHz processor.
RIM is also hoping to grow its ecosystem and is offering the game Training with Messi for its smartphones.
Users who download the game have the chance of meeting football legend Lionel Messi.
A large part of RIM's success in developing markets has close co-operation with mobile operators to provide the smartphones with the BlackBerry Internet Service which offers unlimited web access at a flat rate.
This has made the platform the top-selling mobile device in South Africa and it is expected that the new Torch will be offered on contract, given that it is a premium device.
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