Not that it’s anything we haven’t seen for the last six months or anything, but a few shots of the upcoming BlackBerry Curve 9360 “Apollo” have leaked out.
The BlackBerry 9360 will be a little lower-end than the other OS 7 devices coming from RIM, but still respectable when compared to their current lineup. It’ll have a 480 x 360 display, 5 megapixel camera with flash, 800 MHz processor 512 MB of RAM, Near-field communications and a magnetic compass are signature features for RIM’s next-gen smartphones, and will also be included. The key layout is a little new, as now the top of the device is just a single lock key, rather than split up between lock and mute. The play/pause/mute key has been moved in between the volume rocker keys, much like the Bold 9900. The headphone jack has been moved from the side to the top of the device, which is a neat change, and definitely practical.
The predecessors to the Curve 9360 (the 8520 and 9300) performed well for RIM not only in developing markets where entry-level prices are a necessity, but also here in North America where many folks didn’t care about horsepower, they just knew that they wanted a BlackBerry. Of course, now with Android reaching into the lower-end of smartphones, competition is likely to heat up. I’ll be curious to see if the “Liquid Graphics” engine in OS 7 is enough to make even a modest phone like the 9360 shine in comparisons.
We aren’t expecting this to land before the back-to-school season, but there are a lot of other upcoming RIM smartphones in the pipe, like the Touch 9850/60, and the Torch 2 9810.