updated 01:40 pm EDT, Sun August 21, 2011
ATT Torch 9810, Sprint Bold 9930, Torch 9850 ship
As promised, both AT&T and Sprint joined the BlackBerry 7 mix Sunday with their own additions now reaching shops. Sprint had the biggest release and shipped both the BlackBerry Torch 9850 and the BlackBerry Bold 9930. The two are the least expensive versions on sale in the US: the touch-only 9850 costs $150 when bought online with a contract, while the 9930 costs $200 under the same conditions.
Other US carriers are so far selling or planning to sell the two for $50 more on average.
AT&T has yet to plan a shipment for the Bold but is selling the BlackBerry Torch 9810. The sequel to its one-time flagship smartphone is on sale at the promised $50 on contract, officially making it the least expensive BlackBerry 7 hardware in the near term.
All of the phones on the market so far share much in the way of hardware, such as the 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor and a five-megapixel camera. Most of their differences revolve around screens and cost. The Torch 9810 has a modest 3.25-inch, 640x480 display and a five-megapixel camera with full autofocus. Moving to the Torch 9850 brings a 3.5-inch, 480x800 touch-only option. The Bold 9900 has just a 2.8-inch, 640x480 screen and no autofocus on its camera but makes up for it with a QWERTY keyboard and the thinnest design yet for RIM.