Live from RIM and AT&T's BlackBerry Torch 9800 event!

If you’re a die-hard BlackBerry lover, there is no place in the world you’d rather be right now than New York City. We’re in the Big Apple for the RIM/AT&T BlackBerry Torch 9800 announcement event, and we’ll be reporting live as soon as the festivities get underway. Check back in a little bit (probably around 10:45AM ET) for the live coverage to start flowing! In the meantime, anyone have any absolute wishes for the BlackBerry Torch 9800? Hit the break for our play-by-play!

10:53AM: We’re sitting in the main ballroom (which has a nice BGR blue hue, if we do say so) waiting for the event to start. Though, there’s little doubt what the event is about — the carrier partner, as usual, has screwed up the reveal.

10:57AM: Still waiting, but we’re sitting next to Zach Epstein — an old BGR friend. Well, not old. But kind of smelly.

10:59AM: Mike Lazaridis is walking out now and taking a seat.

11:02AM: It’s starting! AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega is on stage now. He’s going over how AT&T is letting people maximize customer’s experience. “Today we’re introducing the best BlackBerry ever. And I have one to prove it!”

11:04AM: Ralph is going over AT&T’s HSPA footprint, and their Wi-Fi network as well. “Bet on mobile broadband and smartphones early, and it’s paid off. We were the first to offer the BlackBerry messaging solution in 1999 with RIM.

11:05AM: We offer great choices. Those choices are about to get better thanks to our alliance with RIM.AT&T and RIM have worked closed together for years to deliver some of the most advanced wireless products. First EDGE-enabled BlackBerry, first with BlackBerry Curve.

11:06AM: It takes months and years of effort to refine and finally bring to market truly innovative services. If you include meetings, from the engineering levels to the CEO level, we spent hundreds of thousands of hours between the companies.

11:07AM: Today we celebrate that vision by introducing the best BlackBerry ever. It’s available only from AT&T on the best wireless broadband network. Ralph is introducing Mike Lazaridis now!

11:04AM: Ralph is going over AT&T’s HSPA footprint, and their Wi-Fi network as well. “Bet on mobile broadband and smartphones early, and it’s paid off. We were the first to offer the BlackBerry messaging solution in 1999 with RIM.

11:05AM: We offer great choices. Those choices are about to get better thanks to our alliance with RIM.AT&T and RIM have worked closed together for years to deliver some of the most advanced wireless products. First EDGE-enabled BlackBerry, first with BlackBerry Curve.

11:06AM: It takes months and years of effort to refine and finally bring to market truly innovative services. If you include meetings, from the engineering levels to the CEO level, we spent hundreds of thousands of hours between the companies.

11:07AM: Today we celebrate that vision by introducing the best BlackBerry ever. It’s available only from AT&T on the best wireless broadband network. Ralph is introducing Mike Lazaridis now!

11:13AM Mike is now talking about OS 6 and the new features.

11:14AM We’ve invented auto wrap text zoom, which will wrap and zoom in, and magnify text in the browser. We redesigned out multimedia environment. We’ve provided a new way of looking at your content. Thumbnails and album art throughout the device.

11:15AM There is now Wi-Fi sync on the device.

11:13AM Mike is now talking about OS 6 and the new features

11:14AM We’ve invented auto wrap text zoom, which will wrap and zoom in, and magnify text in the browser. We redesigned out multimedia environment. We’ve provided a new way of looking at your content. Thumbnails and album art throughout the device

11:15AM There is now Wi-Fi sync on the device

11:15AM We’re really excited to have worked with AT&T and both excited about the partnership. He’s intoducing Don Lindsay to talk in-depth about the BlackBerry 6 UI.

11:19AM We’ve redesigned the entire homescreen experience.

11:19AM One new feature is about notifications. We have always provided icons to alert you to mail, text messages, calendars.

11:21AM: Beyond providing content from the device, with universal search, you can start to go online and not just local. Search locally, and then go and do internet searches. Third parties can link into this. Oh great, more clutter.

11:23AM: We take pictures on our phone, we syncronize those pictures to our phone. We haven’t been able to manage this though. We have a degree on control on here, you can manage media content. Create folders, make folders sort by date, two finger tap gesture to select stuff. Honestly, this sounds like a bit complex for something most people don’t care too much about. “We use geolocation on the camera to title your photos automatically, so New York City and then a string. Now you can search by pictures or titles of cities.” New podcast application.

11:31 AM RSS feed readers. We have cross application integration. Multitasking without taxing the user.

11:31 AM We’re seeing a video of the UI and media interface now.

11:32 AM Our team has been busy, On a personal note, this past year we worked on BlackBerry 6 and it’s been a pleasure to work with AT&T.

11:33 AM David Yach is on to talk about platform.

11:33 AM We have tried to significantly expand the world of blackberry applications. Create a seamless experience to users while making it easier for developers.

11:33 AM Three dimensions are improved: easier to find apps, buy apps, and pay developers.

11:34 AM App World is pre-installed.

11:34 AM You can use universal search to search through App World.

11:35 AM The goal of simplifying app discovery and usage will result in greater demand for app.

11:35 AM The second dimension, carrier billing, and blackberry payment service a new API. Having chargeable events means you can try before you buy. You can pay for levels.

David is having trouble remembering his speech and it’s kind of uncomfortable. He’s really struggling.

11:38 AM This is a huge step forward in opening up our platform. Enabling developers to make apps more quickie and lower costs.

11:38 AM HTML5 apps are a go. And you can run apps in the background. Accessing files and information on the device, leveraging location based services.

11:39 AM Developers using web application platform get all the capabilities java application developers do.

11:39 AM We have new features for our java developers.

11:41 AM Watching another video, detailing applications, search, App World, etc.

11:42 AM Example of how third-party apps can link into universal serach: Slacker can hook into universal search an start a station.

11:42 AM All of these are monthly subscription services from AT&T ew.

11:43 AM You may have noticed while these apps all look great, they also offer unique blackberry 6 functionality. Apps take advantage our of multitasking capability, as soon a you get a wifi connection they can download content automatically.

11:44 AM We’ve made it easier to find apps, buy and pay for apps and also opened up the platform.

11:44 AM David christopher, AT&T mobility and consume markets CEO is now on stage.

11:44 AM I can’t tell you how excited we are about the BlackBerry Torch, it is an incredible device. It’s the best blackberry ever. Not just for business but for consumers.

11:45 AM Begininng. Spent thousands of hours with rim working on design.

11:45 AM Here is how we are going to bring this to market. Leveraged AT&T developer program. Carrier billing to purchase applications. Simple and easy to use experience.

11:46 AM We’ve made a significant marketing investment, going to see some great print and TV adverts starting on Thursday. It will be national.

11:47 AM They are showing us the first commercial now. It looks pretty good.

11:47 AM The fixtures in the AT&T stores are for the 9800.

11:48 AM PRICE $199 with 2-year contract.

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