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Research In Motion and Vodacom Launch the New BlackBerry Bold 9900 Smartphone in South Africa

South Africa and Waterloo, ON : Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) and Vodacom today launched the new BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 smartphone in South Africa.

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is the thinnest BlackBerry smartphone yet at only 10.5mm, and the first to offer the perfect union of a high performance keyboard and touch display integrated within the iconic BlackBerry Bold design. The new BlackBerry Bold 9900 is also the first BlackBerry smartphone to include built-in support for NFC (Near Field Communications), a new technology that is enabling many new and exciting capabilities, including the ability to pair with NFC-enabled accessories or read SmartPoster tags with a simple tap of the smartphone.

Distinguished by its beautiful design, amazingly effective keyboard and brilliant touch display, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 is crafted with premium materials including a brushed stainless steel frame that puts the finishing touch on a truly outstanding smartphone.

Vodacom’s Managing Executive – Sales, Zunaid Dinath, said: “We are excited to bring the first BlackBerry 7-based smartphone to our customers in South Africa with the BlackBerry Bold 9900. We believe our customers will enjoy the smooth and integrated communications experience, responsive interface, stylish finish and blazingly quick performance found in this premium smartphone.”

BlackBerry® 7, the operating system for the new BlackBerry Bold 9900, introduces a next generation BlackBerry browser with a significantly faster, more fluid web browsing experience that is among the best in the industry. Combining the dramatically improved performance of the advanced WebKit browser engine together with the powerful hardware enhancements in the BlackBerry Bold 9900 delivers browsing results that are up to 40% faster than BlackBerry® 6 based smartphones and up to 100% faster than BlackBerry® 5 based smartphones*.  Additional enhancements to this next generation BlackBerry browser have also optimized zooming and panning for smoother web navigation and optimized HTML5 performance for incredible gaming and video experiences.

The new BlackBerry Bold 9900 also features Liquid Graphics™ technology, combining a dedicated high-performance graphics processor with a blazingly fast CPU and stunning high resolution display to deliver a highly responsive touch interface with incredibly fast and smooth graphics.

A New Performance Driven Platform

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone is built on a new performance driven platform powered by the latest BlackBerry software and hardware. In addition to supporting the new BlackBerry 7 OS, the new smartphone also features a range of powerful hardware enhancements including a 1.2 GHz processor, a 24-bit high resolution touch screen, HD video recording, and advanced sensors enabling new augmented reality applications such as Wikitude – all designed to provide the ultimate in communications, multimedia and productivity for users around the world.

Next-Generation BlackBerry 7 OS

In addition to the next generation BlackBerry Browser and Liquid Graphics technology, the new BlackBerry 7 operating system delivers a highly refined and integrated suite of phone, email, messaging and social apps to keep users connected and productive throughout the day. Recent enhancements include the newest release of BBM (BlackBerry® Messenger) which now extends the real time BBM experience to a range of other apps (see separate announcement on July 28, 2011). The updated Social Feeds (2.0) app has been extended to capture updates from media, podcasts, and favorites all in one consolidated view. The new Facebook® for BlackBerry smartphones (2.0) app introduces features like Facebook chat and BBM integration that makes it easier for users to connect with their Facebook friends in real time.

BlackBerry 7 OS also includes a number of other pre-loaded applications and integrated functionality for increased productivity and collaboration right out of the box. The Premium version of Documents To Go is now included free of charge, offering users powerful document editing features as well as a native PDF document viewer. BlackBerry® Balance (announced May 2, 2011) is now integrated in BlackBerry 7, allowing users to enjoy the full BlackBerry smartphone experience for both work and personal purposes without compromising the IT department’s need for advanced security and IT controls. And further, the popular universal search capability has been enhanced with support for voice-activated search, so users can now simply speak to begin searching their device and the web for information.

For devices images and more details, visit the BlackBerry 7 Virtual Press Room at: www.rim.com/newsroom/blackberry7

* Requires BlackBerry 7 OS. Testing was performed by RIM in July 2011 and measured average page load speeds using pre-release BlackBerry 7 software.

About Vodacom
Vodacom Group Limited (Vodacom) is an African mobile communications company providing voice, messaging, data and converged services to over 43 million customers.  From its roots in South Africa, Vodacom has grown its operations to include networks in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, and Lesotho and provides carrier and business services to customers in over 70 African countries.

Vodacom is majority owned by Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile communications companies by revenue, and is listed on the JSE Limited under the symbol VOD. 

About Research In Motion
Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. RIM is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.


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