An updated model of the immensely popular BlackBerry Bold smartphone is on the way, with the first release of the new Bold 9780 hitting the North American market this week.
There's been no word on when the souped-up smartphone will arrive in Australia, nor which carriers will offer it, but we're usually not far behind the US when it comes to local release of RIM's hero products.
The Bold 9780 is the third generation of the Bold series and while none of the changes from the current 9700 series are deal-breakers in themselves, the 9780 is clearly the new flagship for the QWERTY smartphone series.
The big wins are the inclusion of the new BlackBerry 6 operating system, although this will also be made available as a free upgrade for the Bold 9700 at some point in the future, and a 5.0 megapixel camera up from the 9700's 3.2 megapixel snapper.
If you're running the first-gen Bold 9000 then the 9780's going to be a huge leap in every regard, although its more compact pocket-friendly size means the slightly smaller keyboard takes some getting used to.
The BlackBerry 6 OS gives the smartphone a fresh yet familiar look through the revamped interface and packs an all-new Web browser using the same 'Webkit' technology as other smartphones such as the iPhone and Andriod devices. That makes for mobile browsing that's both faster and more 'desktop-like' in what you see on the screen.
The enhanced OS also includes integrated social networking, a dedicated YouTube app, enhanced Music and Pictures applications and a new 'universal search' feature to scour the smartphone or the Internet for relevant content.