RIM releasing BlackBerry Tour for Sprint, Verizon

Research In Motion unveiled its latest smartphone, the Tour, and said it would be available soon on Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless.

The gadget offers features for both consumers and business users, reflecting RIM's continued efforts to straddle the line between offering consumer-friendly smartphones and maintaining its base of enterprise users. The phone will support CDMA EV-DO Rev. A networks in North America as well as 3G UMTS/HSPA (2100 MHz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad, making it a world phone. The smartphone will have a 3.2-megapixel camera, media player for music and video, support for BlackBerry App World and a microSD slot.

Despite nothing revolutionary in the form factor of the device--it is similar to the Curve and the Bold--RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in an interview with Reuters that the Tour is "a big step forward."

Sprint said the Tour would be available later this summer for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after $150 in rebates. Verizon declined to comment on pricing or availability information for the Tour.

The device launches just a few days before RIM reports its latest quarterly earnings. According to Reuters, analysts expect the company to post solid results despite increasing pressures from the likes of Apple and Palm. However, all eyes will be on RIM's forecast for the coming quarters to see whether the company's momentum will continue.

For more:
- see these photos and specs
- see this Reuters article and this one
- see this Sprint release
- see this RIM release

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