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RIM unveils BlackBerry Bold 9900, 9930

Research In Motion kicks off its BlackBerry World 2011 conference with a pair of smartphones that feature touch screens and NFC capabilities.

BlackBerry Bold 9900
The new RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 features a touch screen and runs BlackBerry 7 OS.

Research In Motion today introduced the latest additions to its Bold series of smartphones, the RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the BlackBerry Bold 9930.

The devices look very much like the company's traditional QWERTY handsets, but throw a 2.8-inch, VGA (640x480) capacitive touch screen into the mix. They will also run the latest BlackBerry 7 OS, which brings support for augmented reality applications via a built-in magnetometer and faster browser and graphics performance, and feature a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor and NFC (near field communications) technology for mobile payments.

RIM said these are the thinnest BlackBerrys to date and highlighted the phones' 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording capabilities and 8GB of internal memory.

The smartphones all have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS, with the BlackBerry Bold 9900 offering quad-band GSM, tri-band HSPA+ support and the BlackBerry Bold 9930 offering dual-mode CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A/GSM support. Both are expected to ship worldwide this summer, and it looks like T-Mobile has already committed to bringing the BlackBerry Bold 9900 to market later this year as its first 4G-capable BlackBerry.

We'll bring more details about pricing, additional carrier support, and specific release dates as we get them.