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.
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Assuming it could be retrofitted for security standards, the Tour would actually make an ideal upgrade to President Obama's <!external href="http://www.blackberrynews.com/2009/01/12/president-elect-barack-obama-is-the-blackberry-president/">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 <!article id="1157657501">Pearl in 2006.
Verizon customers (<!article id="1227282852">such as the Obamas) can pre-order the Tour today through <!external href="http://estore.vzwshop.com/bbtour/">Verizon's Web site.