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First look at RIM’s new BlackBerry 7 smartphones

The smartphone maker homes the new Bold and Torches will give it a sales boost

TORONTO — Smartphone manufacturer Research in Motion (TSX: RIM) took the wraps off its newest handsets at an event for BlackBerry enthusiasts and select media on Wednesday, launching new Bold and Torch models featuring the company’s latest operating system, BlackBerry 7.

RIM launched five new phones his week, which are expected to be available from Canadian carriers later this month. The flagships are the new Bold 9900 and 9930, which are slimmer and lighter than the previous generation and now boast a touchscreen, while keeping the traditional BlackBerry hard QWERTY keyboard and trackpad. There’s also a new Torch, the 9810 with slide-out hard keyboard and larger touchscreen. And the touchscreen-only Storm is now the Torch 9850/9860, with a larger touchscreen.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based vendor is hoping the new phones will give it a sales boost as it struggles to reorganize and compete with Apple and Android, and will attract upgraders who may be tempted to wait for new devices featuring RIM’s QNX OS, expected some time next year.

Take a closer look at the new BlackBerries in this CDN video.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.