RIM Throws Down with BlackBerry Bold Announcement

The rumor mill has been churning for months, with both RIM and Apple gearing up for Round 2 in the smartphone wars. Apple fans hope the next iPhone stomps the BlackBerry into the ground for business users, while the CrackBerry addicts hope the next BlackBerry will make their favorite device just as much fun as the competition.

While we speculate on why Apple discontinued online sales of the iPhone, RIM wasted no time in making a formal announcement of the BlackBerry Bold (aka BlackBerry 9000) this morning.

There are few surprises in this announcement, since fan site CrackBerry.com has been playing with and talking about the new device for the past few weeks.

In short, the new BlackBerry has a much sharper screen, more RAM (1 GB), wifi, 3G, GPS and a camera. Even better, most reports say the keyboard is easier to work with than the one on the 8800 series. The new BlackBerry OS features better email (HTML!), better browser, better media handling and DocumentsToGo for editing Office files. It even syncs with iTunes (on a PC-only, I assume).

RIM says it will be released “this summer” so that can mean anywhere from June to September. Most sites are predicting an August release date. So if you believe the rumor sites, RIM has the first press release but Apple may actually be the first to ship.

Which is the “killer” and which is the “target” depends on who you talk to, and whether your phone/mobile email use is dictated by your employer.

What do you think of the new BlackBerry? Is it enticing or are you still holding out for that 3G iPhone?