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BlackBerry launches BBM Music

Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has announced the launch of BBM Music and two new handsets, the Bold 9790, which features a keyboard, and the touchscreen Curve 9380.

BBM Music will cost L4.99 per month, after a free 60 day trial period, and features tracks from record labels Universal, Sony, Warner and EMI, and integration with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) contacts. BlackBerry claim "the more friends you are connected to on BBM, the bigger your music library becomes".

The announcements were made as the company said it had passed 8 million UK subscribers, and claimed a 40 per cent growth in its worldwide subscriber base to 165 million smartphones. More than 50 million people now use the free BBM instant messenger service, compared to 28 million in October 2010.

The new devices, based on BlackBerry's new version 7 OS, feature a slimmer design and enhanced social media and multimedia integration, as well as a high-resolution display.

The new BlackBerry Curve 9380 is the first in the Curve range with a touch display.

Carlo Chiarello, Senior Vice President, Handheld Product Management at Research In Motion claimed that "BlackBerry smartphones offer a uniquely refined mobile communications experience that people love". He said "many customers will be thrilled by the faster performance, beautiful touch displays and compact designs available with these new BlackBerry 7 based models".

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