The Bold 9000 marked the launch of RIM's third flagship product line. It followed the BlackBerry Pearl and BlackBerry Curve products, both of which contributed to RIM's considerable success in diversifying beyond the corporate market.
Although the external design was an evolution of the Curve, its technical specifications brought it into line with other rival high-tier multimedia products. It featured tri-band 3G technology, 3.6 Mbps HSDPA, a 624 MHz Marvell processor, Wi-Fi, GPS, a half-VGA screen (480 x 320 pixels), 1GB of memory and a two-megapixel camera.
The Bold 9000 was the most premium BlackBerry to date, featuring a "lustrous black exterior, satin chrome finished frame and stylish leather-like backplate".
Although variants of the Pearl and the Curve had included either Wi-Fi or GPS, the Bold 9000 was the first product to integrate both features.
The Bold 9000 was primarily targeted at what RIM defined as "successful professionals" aged between 35 and 49, and "career builders" aged between 21 and 34. The inclusion of 3G and HSDPA was heavily driven by RIM's desire to expansion its addressable market beyond business users into consumer and multimedia segments.
The growing prevalence of consumer-orientated and bandwidth-hungry applications like music and video downloads and uploads, location-based services and streaming meant that RIM had to add 3G to its product road map. Previously RIM felt that GPRS and EDGE were sufficient for most business applications.
The browser on the Bold 9000 was a significant upgrade, including support for video on websites such as YouTube – something that was not possible on earlier BlackBerry devices.