BlackBerry users now have another avenue to get their favourite devices and accessories as Research In Motion (RIM) has appointed Brightstar Distribution Sdn Bhd as its authorised distributor here.
Previously, BlackBerry phones were only available through the three telcos namely, DiGi, Maxis and Celcom.
According to RIM, Brightstar's network of operators and retailers, coupled with its value-added distribution services, will help support the company in increasing its channel reach and penetration in the local market.
"Together we will be able to better serve customers through greater points of presence here," said RIM Asia Pacific director Gregory Wade.
He was speaking to the media after launching the much-awaited BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone.
A new beacon
The Torch 9800 is a slider model that RIM said combines the best of two worlds - touchscreen functionality and a physical Qwerty keyboard - in one device.
More precisely, it looks as if RIM has slapped together two of its high-end models, the Storm and Bold, to produce another the Torch.
Measuring 148 x 62 x 14.6mm and weighing 162g, the Torch's 3.2in capacitive TFT touchscreen slides up to reveal a traditional BlackBerry Qwerty keyboard down below.
RIM's SurePress technology, which provides users with tactile feedback when the touchscreen is pressed , is missing from the Torch but the optical trackpad makes the cut.
The phone comes with 4GB of built-in memory that be expanded by up to 32GB via a microSD slot. A 4GB card comes bundled with the package.
Other notable features include a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, continuous autofocus, 11 scene modes, geotagging as well as VGA video capture with image stabilisation.
As one would expect, there's also WiFi along with Bluetooth connectivity, as well as an A-GPS chip for navigation.
First to get OS 6
The Torch 9800 is also the first BlackBerry device to come the BlackBerry 6 operating system. The OS is billed as a true hybrid system, where users can do almost anything through touch, on the keypad or using the trackpad in between them.
RIM is expected to make the OS available on the Bold 9700 and 9650, the Curve 3G as well as Pearl 3G.
Some of the major enhancements in BlackBerry 6 include a new browser, which uses the same WebKit engine as the Apple iOS and Google Android browsers.
The new OS also offers a myriad of new media features such as a podcast application, enhanced music and video player, WiFi music synching to the PC on home network and synchronisation with Windows Media Player.
Also available is the Web Video Search app, which is a high-level browser for multiple online video sites, including YouTube, Dailymotion, ifilm, MobiTV, MSN and others.
BlackBerry 6 also features the universal search function where users are able to find just about any piece of content on the phone simply by typing in their query into the search field.
No official prices and availability were announched but interested users can start to pre-order the device now from their respective telcos.