BlackBerry primes budget (and decidedly retro) 9720 smart phone

The BlackBerry 9720 is targeted at budget-minded consumers in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. North American users need not apply (yet). 

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    The BlackBerry 9720 smartphone.
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BlackBerry has done plenty to haul itself into the future in recent months: it gave itself a new name, released a new operating system, and debuted a fancy new smart phone called the Z10

But it's also not above taking a few steps back. This week, the Canadian company announced it would introduce a new (but also entirely old-fashioned) smart phone called the BlackBerry 9720, which clearly harkens back to the Curve devices of yore. According to BlackBerry, the 9720 will run the BlackBerry 7 operating system (a few iterations behind the current BB10 OS) and include a QWERTY keypad, an FM radio, and the BBM messaging platform. 

The phone, BlackBerry exec Carlo Chiarello said in a statement, has the "best keyboard and functionality for BBM, as well as an updated BlackBerry 7 OS that adds many enhancements. It’s perfect for customers upgrading from a feature phone or entry-level Android or Windows Phone device, as well as existing BlackBerry smartphone customers, that want a richer experience and jump up in style and performance." 

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The 9720 will launch in a range of colors, including pink, black, and purple. But if you live in North America, try not to get too excited – the 9720 will be initially released only in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. 

In related news, yesterday a Vietnamese tech site published a video of what appeared to be a Z30, the long-rumored successor to the Z10. Unlike the 9720, the Z30 would be all touchscreen and high-gloss, with a 5-inch AMOLED display and the BB10 OS. 


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