Mr. President, this is your BlackBerry upgrade
BlackBerry Tour, the latest smartphone from Research in Motion, will be heading to Verizon on July 12 for $199.99 in two different forms: one with a camera and one without. The device was officially announced earlier in June on both Verizon and Sprint, but Verizon is the first carrier to offer a launch date.
Also known as the 9630, the BlackBerry Tour is a world phone with voice support in over 220 countries and push e-mail support in 175. It is equipped with GPS and can also be used as a tethered 3G modem (2100 MHz UMTS/HSPA, or 800/1900 MHz CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A) for Verizon Mobile Broadband Connect Subscribers. With BlackBerry as the dominant brand in enterprise smartphone deployments, the ability to buy the latest model with no built-in camera is crucial for secure work environments where no cameras are allowed, especially including government installations.
Assuming it could be retrofitted for security standards, the Tour would actually make an ideal upgrade to President Obama's now-famous BlackBerry 8700c, a 2G device from roughly five years ago equipped with an Intel PXA901 312 MHz processor and no camera. The Tour has a dual core Qualcomm MSM7600 528 MHz processor which makes for an appreciably faster in-phone experience to complement faster wireless connections.
The Tour also makes no great departure from the familiar BlackBerry design. Of course, the President is still using a jogwheel-era BlackBerry and hasn't made the jump to the trackball, which was ushered in by the Pearl in 2006.
Verizon customers (such as the Obamas) can pre-order the Tour today through Verizon's Web site.