BlackBerry Curve: Three new models, one new OS

The BlackBerry Curve 9350, 9360, and 9370 were unveiled by RIM this week.

The BlackBerry Curve 9350. This week, RIM unveiled three new Curve smartphones – the 9350, the 9360 and the 9370.

Three new BlackBerry Curve models will hit shelves in September, RIM announced today. The Curve 9350, the Curve 9360 and the Curve 9370 will all be powered by the BlackBerry 7 mobile operating system, and all three units will get 2.44-inch screens, with 480-by-360 pixel resolutions.

Other niceties include Wi-Fi antenna, and a 5-megapixel camera, with a flash and video capability.

The only difference between the handsets, in fact, is the innards. Matt Hamblen of Computerworld reports that the "9350 is intended for CDMA/EVDO Rev. A networks, while the 9360 is intended for GSM and HSPA networks. The 9370 functions in both GSM and CDMA networks, with four radio bands for GSM and two for CDMA." Translation: One phone, three different configurations.

"These new models will build on the incredible success of the BlackBerry Curve line and further expand the largest global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in our history," Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion, said in a statement. Lazaridis is not technically wrong: The Curve has sold very well for RIM, and RIM has certainly succeeded in expanding its international presence.

But the company has been consistently battered in North America, where its market share has fallen for months. According to the latest numbers from NPD, 52 percent of smartphones sold in the US are running Android, compared to 29 percent for Apple's iOS, and 11 percent for RIM. (And speak not of the PlayBook, RIM's entry in the tablet race.)

In late July, RIM announced it would slash approximately 2,000 jobs worldwide, or 10.5 percent of its workforce. RIM reps said the layoffs, which exceeded many analyst expectations would allow the company to "eliminat[e] redundancies" and rejigger internal strategy. "The workforce reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company," read a statement issued by RIM.

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