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BlackBerry Curve 9360 emerges, oddly missing at big launch

Ready for a curve ball from BlackBerry? Photos have emerged of the BlackBerry Curve 9360, a new phone mysteriously left out of the big BB launch this morning.

Ready for a curve ball from BlackBerry? Photos have emerged of the BlackBerry Curve 9360, a new phone mysteriously left out of the big BB launch this morning.

The BlackBerry Bold 9900, Torch 9810 and Torch 9860 were announced today alongside international variations. But the 9360 was conspicuous by its absence.

BlackBerry launched the three new phones this morning, and our roving reporter was on hand to gather some first impressions. If BlackBerry is your thing, pour yourself a cup of tea, kick off your loafers and settle in for our previews of the Bold 9900, Torch 9810 and Torch 9860.

The 9360 is a candybar phone with a Qwerty keyboard and an optical trackpad. The frustrating trackpad was one of the major failings in the 9300, so here's hoping BlackBerry has sorted it out in the new phone. 

The effusively bearded chaps at One Mobile Ring have had a poke at the 9360, but specs are thin on the ground. We wonder why Research in Motion decided to keep the phone a secret.

We do know the 9360 is a sequel to the Curve 9300, an entry-level smart phone released last year. It added 3G to the lower reaches of the BlackBerry line-up -- honestly, can you remember a time when a phone came without 3G? It seems so long ago the only way we could manage to see that far back is with the aid of a hypnotist or a Mark Strong voiceover.

The phone may not have taken a bow with its bigger brothers this morning, but we did get a hint that a number of new phones have been waiting eagerly in the wings from a recently leaked BlackBerry roadmap, a schedule of forthcoming phones.

That schedule mentioned a phone codenamed Malibu, slated to be a touchscreen model to be called the Curve Touch on release either late this year or early next. The Curve Touch is described in RIM's documentation as "the accessible all-touch BlackBerry", with a 3.25-inch display, 5-megapixel camera and an 800GHz processor.

Image credit: One Mobile Ring