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BlackBerry World: Six Ways RIM Messed Up Its Own Party

More Planned Obsolescence

In announcing OS 7, BlackBerry dropped the other shoe: OS 7 would not run on any existing hardware. The only phones that will run OS 7 are the two new ones announced at the event, the Bold 9930 and Bold 9990.

The argument is that the new Bolds are much faster and more powerful, and the tradeoff is worth it. Speed is undeniable. The Bold 9930 and 9990 have a 1.2Ghz processor. The Torch 9800, only a year old, has a 624Mhz processor. So a doubling in clock speed certainly means more performance.

In fairness to RIM, it could be these phones are such a quantum leap it's worth the obsolescence. On paper, they look it. RIM is promising high definition (720p) graphics recording and playback, as well as a number of lower resolutions, CPU acceleration of apps and the browser, OpenGL graphics and mobile Wi-Fi hotspot support all in the new Bold 9930. You also need a fast CPU for voice recognition, so the new processor is needed for the Universal Search in the Bolds.

The 9900/9930 smartphones will also include support for Near Field Communications (NFC), a combination of Exxon's SpeedPass and QR readers on steroids. You could, for example, swipe your phone at a point of sale system instead of reach for your wallet. Or you could read information from smart tags.

Will it be worth the obsolescence? I guess we'll find out when the new Bolds ship in the third quarter of this year and Storm 3 comes later this year.