I just purchased the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and I am a Verizon customer, so while I am excited about OS 6 and the Slider Torch, I will not be switching to AT&T.  That said this is a great looking BlackBerry with a rocking OS.  Wait the first device running BlackBerry OS 6.  To say I am jealous would be an understatement.  Please Please Please let the Torch out sell the iPhone.  If I was an AT&T customer I would be pre-ordering the BlackBerry Torch 9800.  I doubt you will need a case to make it or be concerned with dropped calls (we all know this is not an AT&T issue).  RIM did an outstanding job with OS 6.  I am still unclear how the experience is on a non-touch screen device, but they added features that trump Google and Apple and looked familiar to Windows Phone 7.

Robb is sitting on an island some where in the Caribbean so he cannot comment yet, but being a true BlackBerry fan he needs sign an AT&T contract, just to give RIMarkable readers his hands on opinion of the BlackBerry Torch.  This would be a popular give-away device.  Hint…Hint Robb :).  Okay before I get banned for writing on RIMarkable back on topic.  Who is buying the Torch?  bluehorseshoe?  Video and Press Release after break.  Update: BlackBerry Torch is $499.99 without a contract.

Press Release

Today, Research In Motion (RIM) launched the BlackBerry Torch 9800 – RIM’s first slider smartphone. This premium new smartphone features a capacitive touch screen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and the new BlackBerry 6 operating system, which includes a powerful WebKit browser. With the legendary BlackBerry keyboard you love accompanying a large touch screen, users now have the best of both worlds – a refined smartphone designed for the heart and the head. And with BlackBerry 6, graphical menus, intuitive navigation and universal search make the BlackBerry user experience the most dynamic ever!

Key BlackBerry Torch features include:

· Brand new form factor – Touch/QWERTY combination smartphone

· BlackBerry 6 – Featuring:

o Context-sensitive pop-up menus for more relevant options

o A new WebKit browser for faster and more robust performance

o Integrated social feeds including the ability to update multiple social networks from a single screen

o Engaging multimedia experience

o Universal Search to uncover results throughout your smartphone – from Contacts, Apps, data and the Web

· Sleek design with a touch-sensitive trackpad located on the front face of the device

· The first BlackBerry smartphone to include the new BlackBerry App World pre-installed, supporting carrier billing through AT&T, making it easier for customers to discover and purchase applications

· 3.2″ 360 x 480 capacitive touch screen display

· Vivid 5.0MP camera with flash, auto focus, image stabilization and geo-tagging

· Support for 3G networks (HSDPA)

· 512MB Flash memory, 4GB on?board memory, microSD/SDHC memory card slot (4GB card included, cards up to 32GB supported)

· Built?in GPS and Wi?Fi (802.11 b/g/n)

· Network Support

o GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

o HSPDA/UMTS: 800/850/1900/2100 MHz

· Approximately 4.4″ x 2.4″ x 0.57″ (closed), 5.8″ x 2.4″ x 0.57″ (open)

In the U.S, the BlackBerry Torch will be available for AT&T customers on August 12 in AT&T company owned retail stores, online at www.att.com/blackberrytorch, and at Best Buy, Wal-Mart and RadioShack stores. The smartphone will be available for $199.99 with 2-year service agreement on a qualifying rate plan and data plan required. For more information about the BlackBerry Torch, please see the full press release at http://press.rim.com/release.jsp?id=4238.

For more details on BlackBerry 6, please watch the BlackBerry 6 YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plWOkI_Urwo and visit http://press.rim.com/release.jsp?id=4237. Images of the BlackBerry Torch will be posted shortly at http://www.rim.com/newsroom/media/gallery/.