Telstra goes Bold with the latest BlackBerry

Telstra beats Optus, Vodafone and 3 to the punch in announcing availability of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone.

Telstra is the first carrier in Australia to release the BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone.

Telstra is the first carrier in Australia to release the BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone.

Telstra is the first Australian carrier to announce the availability of the latest BlackBerry smartphone, the Bold 9700.

The second BlackBerry Bold (following on from the Bold 9000 ), the Bold 9700 offers an upgraded camera, a more compact design and the optical trackpad first seen on the entry-level BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone.

"Lighter and more powerful, the new Blackberry 9700 has a full keyboard and push email service which will help customers stay connected to their e-mail, office calendar and the mobile internet," said Ross Fielding, Telstra product management executive director.

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 will be available in Telstra stores, dealers and online from today. The Bold 9700 will also be available through Optus, and the newly merged VHA (Vodafone and 3), though according to ARN magazine, both rival carriers will be releasing the smartphone in December — Vodafone and 3 on 2 December and Optus in "early December".

Optus is already taking pre-orders for the Bold 9700, but does not yet have the smartphone available.

At the launch earlier this month, RIM confirmed the new BlackBerry Bold 9700 will be sold alongside the BlackBerry Bold 9000, which Telstra still offers.

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is available through Telstra for $0 upfront on an $85 Mobile Plus plan or $999 on a mobile repayment option over 24 months.

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