Bold move: BlackBerry Dakota photo, specs leaked

Boy Genius Report has published an exclusive look at a new RIM BlackBerry smartphone dubbed the Dakota that strikes a resemblance to the original BlackBerry Bold device in terms of design style.

Specs, according to the report, include a 3G mobile hotspot, 2.8-inch VGA 640x480 screen, a 5 megapixel camera, Near Field Communications support and quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE. The Dakota has been buzzed about in BlackBerry circles since the summer.

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Boy Genius refers to the device as the one "that’s going to sit right at the head of the BlackBerry family dinner table."

The BerryReview site celebrates  that the Dakota will feature BlackBerry OS 6.1 and hopes that RIM will "finally ditch the 3 year old 624Mhz processor found in most current gen BlackBerrys for the last 2+ years. Hopefully RIM has learned from their past but you never know…"

We’ve seen references to a possible BlackBerry Dakota at least as far back as a year ago at sister publication CIO.com.

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The CrackBerry site on Wednesday reported on RIM introducing the BlackBerry 6.1 Application Platform at an event in Asia. It boasts new APIs for OpenGL-ES 2.0, magnetometer/digital compass and more.

No word on pricing or availability yet.

Coincidentally, or not, RIM is in Boston Thursday for a press briefing on RIM’s enterprise strategy. We’ll be reporting any significant news from there today.

RIM of late has garnered most of its headlines for its PlayBook tablet computer plans, where were further discussed at the recent CES 2011 event in Las Vegas.

But the company needs to keep improving its smartphone line given the relentless push being made by Google Android smartphone vendors and Apple, with its iPhone soon to be available on Verizon’s network and with a possible iPhone 5 around the corner. Fresh numbers from ComScore indicate the BlackBerry remains the #1 smartphone used in the United States, but that Android is gaining ground.

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Bob Brown

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