RIM to launch budget BB OS 7 device

And if it's not the Curve 9360 we'll eat our techno-hats

The Curve 3G set for a refresh

RIM's UK chief Stephen Bates has told TechRadar that the company intends to serve its budget phone-favouring customers a new device in the near future.

Speaking at the launch of the BlackBerry Torch 9860 and Torch 9810, Bates said that those that loved the Curve 8520 and 9300 were a key demographic that will be 'subject to announcements later':

"We're learning a lot about the market we've exploited with Curve; that range helped us open up new price points as well as services such as BBM and email.

"What's interesting is the feedback we're getting is once those people have become used to those services is they want to do more, and we see that group of customers as a great base for BlackBerry. So we intend to serve them very well at a future point."

Big social impact

Bates also elucidated on the impact he expects the new BlackBerry Messenger to have on the market, pointing out that the ability to use it in more applications and run more integrated messaging than ever before is a key feature in keeping users satisfied:

"What [the improved apps are] doing is giving those people that chose BlackBerry for improved communications and a better social networking experience more enhancements and better capability.

"However, there is a hardware dependency for some of this capability, which will be subjects to announcements later."

It's pretty clear that RIM intends to launch another BlackBerry phone in the Curve range, and given OneMobileRing has picked up a sample of a new device named the Curve 9360 it makes sense that this will be the new device to appear.

Why RIM didn't announce it today is beyond us - but for those that adored the cheaper end of the BlackBerry line-up, there's clearly good news on the horizon.