RIM launches new Bold developed in Euro R&D centre

Research In Motion has rolled out an updated version of its top-end BlackBerry Bold, developed at its R&D centre opened in Bochum in Germany last year.

The company is aiming to reassert its dominance in the professional market at a time when its retail consumer business has come under growing pressure from Apple's iPhone.

The latest Bold, part of a series of new devices that Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM plans to bring to market in the next 12 months, is designed for business executives, lawyers, politicians and other professionals, a market that the company still rules.

But in the broader consumer market, RIM has seen stiff competition from Apple's iPhone and handsets from rivals such as Nokia

The new Bold is thinner and lighter than its predecessor, which hit the market last year, and replaces the original Bold's track ball with an optical track pad. The new model also features a faster Web browser.

The Bold's new features are aimed at defending the business market from the Apple threat, and also at attracting wealthier retail users.

"RIM still isn't in a position where it has any one device that can be considered an iPhone killer," said independent technology analyst Carmi Levy.

"Apple is in a position of power in this market and you are either aware of their strategy and you counter it in some way, or you find another business to be in."

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