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RIM [TSE:RIM] has done a shamefully poor job of keeping the prototypes of their first BlackBerry flip phone, the Kickstart, under wraps, and today the ignominy continues. According to a chorus of tech bloggers who are rarely wrong about their prognostications, the Kickstart will be available for a scant $50 when it launches in September on the T-Mobile network (with a two-year contract). 

Cheap, slim smartphones are a rarity in any carrier's lineup, so the Kickstart could find an immediate audience in the corporate underclass. But such a low pricetag doesn't bode well for the kind of multimedia performance that most people are coming to expect from a smartphone, and that could be a formula for disappointment.