UPDATE | Optus has today confirmed pricing for these two new BlackBerries -- the Bold 9900 (as noted below, the first BlackBerry in a classic fixed keyboard + screen form factor to have a touchscreen) will be available for nothing upfront on a $79 monthly plan.
The Torch 9860 will cost nothing upfront on a $49 plan.
Both handsets will be available from 1 September, on two year contracts.
Bold 9900: the BlackBerry you've been waiting for
If you're a BlackBerry user, chances are the reason you haven't switched to one of the many sexy iPhone or Android handsets is because you really value the 'berry's fantastic keyboard and still unrivalled email and chat capability.
But at the same time, you're probably growing tired of the tradeoff of having to choose between a touchscreen BlackBerry with a concealed (or no) keyboard, or a fixed keyboard without a touchscreen.
This choice is finally going away, with the introduction of the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the first handset to include a fixed keyboard plus a large touchscreen.
Optus will be the first Australian mobile network to offer it, along with another new model, the Torch 9860, from early next month.
The fixed Bold keyboard means fast thumb-typing is always immediately available, but the large, high-resolution touchscreen will allow for easier interaction with web pages, photos and apps.
It's also one of the slimmest BlackBerries ever made, at 10.5mm, due to its toughened-glass body, encased in a steel frame.
The Torch 9860 is a more traditional full touch-screen BlackBerry.
The two new devices come loaded with BlackBerry 7 Operating System, running on a 1.2 GHz processor, and what RIM says is a smoother user interface powered by "Liquid Graphics".
BlackBerry Messenger 6 (BBM 6) now provides support for ‘BBM connected’ apps to integrate functionality of the BBM service and let friends interact with each other from within third-party apps.
Both phones have BlackBerry Protect, allowing users to lock, locate and wipe their device from wherever they are if they lose or misplace it.
Pricing is not yet available from Optus, but the telco is taking pre-registrations to purchase at www.optus.com.au/blackberry.