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Vodafone Malta has officially announced the BlackBerry®Torch™ 9800, the first BlackBerry ever to feature a sliding form factor. The BlackBerry Torch 9800 offers users the best of both worlds with a full physical keyboard and touch-screen. The highly-awaited BlackBerry 6 operating system also makes its debut on the BlackBerry Torch 9800, steering in the next-generation of messaging and multimedia on BlackBerry.

Adept for socially-connected consumers and packed with the tools business customers love, the new BlackBerry Torch is the world’s first smartphone to combine a BlackBerry keyboard with a full touch screen experience. The BlackBerry Torch allows users to communicate in any way they want, whether they choose to type out messages on the capacitive touch screen or easy-to-use BlackBerry keyboard or whether they prefer to browse the Internet using pinch to zoom or fluidly navigate with the optical track-pad.

“We were the first to launch the BlackBerry solution in Malta and we have a rich history of innovation and collaboration with Research in Motion,” said Alexandre Froment Curtil, Head of Marketing at Vodafone Malta. “Our two companies that brought the first BlackBerry smartphones to the local market have teamed up again with the new BlackBerry Torch to provide our users an enormously popular service with the latest technological advances.”

The BlackBerry Torch is the first BlackBerry smartphone to launch with BlackBerry 6, a new operating system which provides a fresh, approachable and engaging experience that is both powerful and easy to use. The BlackBerry 6 features a redesigned interface that works with the touch screen and track-pad, includes expanded messaging capabilities with intuitive features to simplify the management of social networking and provides integrated access to the BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and various instant messaging applications which are available on the BlackBerry Torch.

Messaging has always been a core element of the BlackBerry smartphone experience and the BlackBerry Torch smartphone expands on RIM’s popular messaging solutions. RIM’s new Text Messages application is especially exciting for users who communicate most via SMS and MMS, providing support for the next-generation messaging experience, which includes group messaging with ‘reply all’ functionality for up to 10 contacts.

In addition to searching the Internet for video, the BlackBerry Torch smartphone also features more multimedia apps that let users download TV shows and watch live TV, as well as create video content and upload it to YouTube.

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