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Is this a BlackBerry "Dakota" I see before me?

Photos and spec of a beefed-up Bold appear online

By John Cox on Thu, 01/13/11 - 11:31am.

Photos of what reportedly is the next BlackBerry smartphone, code-named Dakota, have surfaced on BoyGeniusReport.com, along with the handheld's purported specs. Essentially, Dakota seems to be a beefed up BlackBerry Bold.

The handset is for GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS networks; includes a 5-megapixel camera with HD video recording. The photo shows a device very like the current Bold product family, with a fair-sized screen positioned over RIM's trademark QWERTY keyboard.

Where it differs from the current Bold line is in better screen resolution, memory, and storage and some other features.

According to BGR, Dakota will feature:

    * 4GB of built in storage, 768MB of RAM
    * 2.8-inch VGA 640×480 capacitive screen
    * WiFi b,g,n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies
    * 3G mobile hotspot (other devices connect to it via Wi-Fi to share the 3G data connection)
    * MicroUSB port
    * Bluetooth
    * NFC
    * Magnetometer
    * Accelerometer
    * Proximity sensor
    * 10.5mm thin
    * BlackBerry OS 6.1

You can compare that with specs of the current Bold products.

Although RIM has been criticized for not having the excitement or the scale of success enjoyed by Apple's iPhone or by Android-based phones, the company  reported in December excellent Q3 financial results.  The quarter saw record BlackBerry smartphone sales, $5.49 billion in revenues, and 5.1 million new BlackBerry subscribers. Both unit shipments and revenues were up 40% compared the same period a year earlier.