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RIM Announces New Blackberry Curve Phones

The company said even its low-end smartphones will use the new BlackBerry 7 OS, which offers improved speed over earlier renditions.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Research In Motion Ltd. on Tuesday announced three new models in its popular low-end BlackBerry Curve range, featuring its new BlackBerry 7 operating system.

The Waterloo, Ontario, company showed off high-end models updated with the new software three weeks ago.

The new Curve models -- 9350, 9360 and 9370 -- will go on sale in Canada this month and in the rest of the world in September. In the U.S., Sprint Nextel Corp. said it will start selling the 9350 on Sept. 9 for $80 after a $50 mail-in rebate.

RIM says the new BlackBerry 7 OS is much faster, particularly for Web browsing.

Like the new Bold model announced three weeks ago, the new Curves will have built-in Near-Field Communications chips, so they can be used in place of credit cards by swiping them across properly equipped payment terminals.

Many companies, including cellphone carriers like AT&T and Web companies like Google Inc. are promoting the idea of using phones as digital "wallets," but few stores have the right terminals.

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