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iPhone 5 September launch – will it kill BlackBerry Bold 9900?

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is due to launch on August 16 – but could the impending arrival of the Apple iPhone 5 rain on its BlackBerry OS 7 parade? Can RIM’s latest smartphone beat off the challenge of the Apple juggernaut?

While Apple has not confirmed its launch date, the iPhone 5 is widely believed to be launching in the next few weeks – late September seems the likely date. So the BlackBerry Bold 9900 will steal a march of a few weeks on its rival. But what about its specs and features?

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 has a single core 1.2GHz processor at its heart, which might not sound particularly impressive at first – but do bear in mind that it’s still twice the speed of the BlackBerry Torch 9800’s chip. It is believed the iPhone 5 will feature the same dual core A5 processor as the iPad 2, and if it does it certainly won’t want for processing power.

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 boasts a 2.8-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 640 x 480 and very impressive sharpness at 287ppi (pixels per inch) – that’s sharper than the likes of the HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy S 2. The iPhone 5 is certain to pack a Retina Display screen of at least 3.5 inches in size (rumour has it may be larger than that); that means 326ppi, considerably sharper than the Bold 9900.

Add in the fact that the iPhone 5 will almost certainly be thinner than the 10.5mm thick BlackBerry Bold 9900 (which is very skinny by RIM standards) and it seems like Apple has the edge in almost every area. But of course it could be argued that the two phones are aimed at different markets: the BlackBerry Bold 9900 sports a full QWERTY keyboard for speedy messaging and email – a great many people prefer the feel of typing on a hardware keyboard to doing so on a touchscreen, even one as impressive as Apple’s.

If Apple pushes back the launch to later this year (or even, as Tech Eye reports some sources as claiming, into 2012) the BlackBerry Bold 9900 may have had several weeks or months to bed itself into the market…